Zoetwaren, the €2.1bn pension fund for confectioners in the Netherlands, has decided to drop its current provider Syntrus Achmea in favour of TKP.
In its latest newsletter to participants, it said this was a “logical step” following last year’s announcement that it would start a co-operation with Bakkers, the €3.5bn industry-wide scheme for bakers, which already employs TKP as provider.
Zoetwaren estimates the switch will generate cost savings of 20%, adding that it was impressed by TKP’s customer service and its pension planner for participants.
The pension fund, in its 2014 annual report, expressed its dissatisfaction with Syntrus’s service, citing a number of “serious incidents” in administration and communication.
According to Leonne Jansen, employee chair on the scheme, administration had been “frozen” for six months after the transition to a new system, as well as changes in pension arrangements.
“In addition,” she said, “several services – such as sending start and stop letters for new and departing workers – haven’t been provided as agreed.”
In its defence, Syntrus said suspending administration in the event of substantial system changes was a standard precautionary procedure, and that the pension fund had been able to carry out essential processes over the period.
Syntrus said it regretted Zoetwaren’s departure but described the decision as “logical, as the pension fund has opted for co-operation with the bakers scheme”.
Last year, Detailhandel, the €17bn pension fund for the retail sector, dropped Syntrus for TKP, while the €3.8bn pension scheme for architects confirmed it was considering switching providers as well.
Bakkers dropped Syntrus Achmea in 2011, citing dissatisfaction with costs and the provider’s attention to detail.
Commenting on the possibility of a merger with Bakkers, Zoetwaren employer chairman Leo Dekkers said the funding gap between the two was still too big.
As of the end of October, the confectioners’ scheme had a coverage of 108.4%, whereas funding for Bakkers stood at 101.8% in August.