NETHERLANDS - The €10.4bn Dutch railways pension fund, or SPF, has posted a return on investments of 4.2% in the second quarter.

Equities were the best performing asset class, with a return of 7.5% before currency hedging, the scheme said in a statement. Fixed interest and real estate yielded 4.2% and 3.2% respectively.

The contribution of currency hedging was minus 1.6%, because of the rise of the US dollar, it added. Currency hedging is part of SPF’s long-term policy.

During the second quarter, SPF’s coverage ratio rose by 5 points to 169%, based on the fixed interest rate of 4%. Based on the market rate, as set by the new financial assessment framework, or FTK, the funding ratio is 154%.

The scheme’s investments over the past 10 years returned 8.7%. It invests worldwide in equity, state and company bonds and indirect real estate. Nationally it invests in real estate and mortgages as well. The choice of the investment portfolio is based on asset liability management.

SPF is one of the ten largest pension funds in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, the €2bn public transport pension scheme, or SPOV, reported a return of 4%. Equity yielded 7.5% before currency hedging. Fixed interest and real estate made returns of 4.5% and 1.8% respectively.

Meanwhile, Cordares says it will offer levensloop, or life-course pensions, to all industry sectors

The manager, formerly building fund SFB, said it would offer the products from January 1 2006 to all industrial sectors, not only its own home market.

Cordares expects that its position as one of the largest Dutch pension executors will give it the right scale and expertise to offer an attractive and fully web-based product.

The new products can be integrally linked to existing arrangements of its clients. According to Jim de Boer, insurance director, Cordares will have a strong position in the market.

Cordares, has previously said it is seeking growth by offering administration, asset management and income insurance. The group, which changed its name in May, is also planning a merger with ASW, the pensions administrator for the building societies.