NETHERLANDS - The €155m pension fund for the paint and printing ink industry is again considering the option of joining another industry-wide scheme.

A current survey will show whether its pension plan fits within the arrangements of other pension funds, said Robert van Westerhoven, employers' chairman at the scheme.

"We have been open to co-operation with other pension funds for several years now, as we want to scale up in order to improve governance and drive down costs," he explained.

"Additionally, we want to raise our professionalism and expertise, and also want to increase our grasp on the implementation of the pension arrangements."

Two years ago, the Stichting Pensioenfonds voor de Verf- en Drukinktindustrie had agreed to a co-operation plan with 7 other industry-wide schemes of suppliers of the building industry, with the intention of a full merger later.

However, the co-operation plan ultimately was not successful as a number of employers "got cold feet, fearing that they would lose their grip on their pension fund,", according to Van Westerhoven.

The chairman made clear that his pension fund - also known as 'Verf' - is now in discussions with another industry-wide scheme, but he declined to provide further details.

In January, the paint and ink scheme cut pension rights by 5.9%, to get on track to recovery for the minimum required funding ratio of 105% by 2013.

Last July, the coverage ratio was 86.6%, after an absolute low in 2008, when its funding plummeted from 132% to 81.6%.

Since then, the scheme's coverage ratio had risen to 97.2% in March, ahead of the mapped out recovery.