The €345bn civil service pension fund ABP is to reduce its pension contribution from 19.6% to 17.8%, as of 1 January.

It said its decision was based on changes made by the social partners to the salary agreement between the government and unions.

As a consequence, the pension fund replaced the salary index with the consumer index as the criterion for its indexation policy.

The new contribution does not take into account the one-off 0.9% levy, applied last year, to cover the increase in the retirement age for the state pensions AOW.

ABP’s board, however, said it might raise the premium again on 1 April if a new recovery plan – based on the scheme’s funding ratio at year-end – showed the need for additional improvements.

The pension fund’s coverage was 99.3% at October-end, 10.7% short of its required minimum funding.

Corien Wortmann-Kool recently, chair at ABP, said the scheme’s financial position precluded granting any indexation over the next five years.

The scheme’s indexation in arrears is 11.7%.

In other news, the two pension funds of UnileverProgress and Forward – said they would grant their pensioners and deferred participants a full indexation of 0.44% against the consumer index.

Progress – the closed €5bn defined benefit scheme – said its funding stood at 135% at October-end.

It said the financial position of the new collective defined contribution plan Forward also allowed for a full indexation.

Meanwhile, the €25bn Pensioenfonds ING said it would grant the former workers and pensioners of ING Bank an indexation of 1.25%, while former employees and pensioners of NN Group will be awarded an inflation compensation of 0.5%, all drawn against the salary index.

It said it had not yet taken a decision on indexation for the part of the staff of ING Bank and NN Group subject to the consumer index.

The ING scheme reported a funding ratio in real terms of 92.9% last month.

Lastly, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, said pension providers could start operating their general pension funds (APFs) on 1 March, if the legislation comes into force on 1 January.

During an additional reading of the Bill in Parliament, she said she would urge supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank to deal with requests for a permit as quickly as possible.

However, Klijnsma stressed that providers would be prohibited from launching their APFs retrospectively as of 1 January.