The sector-wide pension fund for the Dutch fabric and upholstery industry (Bpf Textielverzorging) is to transfer its assets and liabilities to the larger industry-wide scheme for fashion, furnishing, carpet and fabric care (MITT).

Bpf Textielverzorging currently has an insurance contract with Centraal Beheer Achmea, but this is set to expire at the end of this year.

Renewing the contract with Achmea would have resulted in a substantial contribution hike due to the low interest rate, so the industry scheme has sought alternative options.

Bpf Textielverzorging is one of the smaller industry-wide schemes in The Netherlands, serving approximately 350 employers, with fewer than 8,000 active plan members and 2,300 pensioners.

The scheme has placed just under €500mn with Achmea.

The larger scheme MITT has 1,179 employers and 10,191 active members, serving nearly 48,000 pensioners and 47,000 deferred members.

The scheme had €1.8bn in assets under management as of the end of last year.

Asset management has been outsourced to MN.

Bpf Textielverzorging has been weighing its options for the future since 2013.

It said that, when it became clear renewal of the insurance contract would lead to significantly higher costs, it redoubled its efforts to find a suitable partner for a merger.

Bpf Textielverzorging’s contribution rate of 24.4% is close to MITT’s rate of 24%, while MITT’s policy funding rate stood at 99% as of the end of October.

MITT has petitioned the Ministry of Social Affairs for permission to extend its scope of mandatory participation to include the fabric and upholstery care industry.