NETHERLANDS – BpfMortel, the €146m industry-wide pension fund for the concrete-processing industry and concrete transport sector, is to liquidate itself and merge with the €34.5bn pension fund for the Dutch building industry BpfBOUW.

Mortel said it was too small to operate independently, and that linking up with a larger pension fund would allow it to spread risks and cut costs.

The merger means that all of its participants' pension claims will now be transferred to BpfBOUW.

At the end of October, Mortel's funding was 97.5%, while BpfBOUW's coverage ratio was 104.5%.

Last February, when Mortel's funding was 95.9%, it announced a 3% rights cut scheduled for 1 April 2013, in order to reach its recovery target of 104.4%.

Despite the merger taking effect on 1 January 2013, the announced discount will be applied anyway to even out the difference in funding, according to a spokesman at FNV Bouw, a union and one of the participating social partners in Mortel.

He said the cuts could even be increased to 3.2%.

The concrete scheme has 6,170 participants in total, with 1,645 active members and 3,085 deferred members.

It reported returns on investments of 8.8% last year.