Dutch pension returns fall 8.1% - VB, OPF

NETHERLANDS – Dutch pension funds declined in value by an average 8.1% last year, according to data released today by pension associations.

“The average return on Dutch pension funds was -8.1% in 2002,” said the industry bodies Stichting voor Ondernemingspensioenfondsen, or Foundation for Company Pension Funds, and the Vereniging van Bedrijfstakpensioenfondsen, or Dutch Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds.

It was, they said, “another weak invesment year”. The data was compiled in association with State Street’s measurement arm WM Co.

The biggest decliner was at the 2.1 billion euro pension fund of computer firm IBM, which saw a 16.1% fall in the value of its assets in the year. Also posting large declines were the 10.4 billion euro Shell scheme, down 14.5% and the 12.0 billion euro Philips scheme which fell 14.1%.

Best performer of the 99 funds reviewed was the 142 million euro Bull scheme, which rose 2.7% - one of just two that ended the year in positive territory. The other was the 41 million euro ODS scheme which edged up 0.1%.

The two largest pension funds in the Netherlands, civil service fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and healthcare and social services fund PGGM, both posted better-than-average returns. ABP was down 7.2% at 135.6 billion euros and PGGM down 7.35 at 45.3 billion euros.

The OPF and VB represent around 85% of Dutch pension fund participants.

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