The board of the €110m pension fund for exhibition venue Jaarbeurs has decided to join the €18bn pension fund for the printing industry PGB

In a statement to participants, Jaarbeurs’ board said increased legal requirements for trustees had forced their hand on whether to liquidate the company scheme.

Explaining its preference for PGB, it said it asked for a quote from three insurers, and that only Delta Lloyd and Aegon had made interesting offers on price.

However, the pension scheme lacked additional funding to secure indexation, it said.

The board concluded that an asset transfer to another pension fund was the best way to keep pace with inflation compensation.

Jaarbeurs said joining Horeca, the pension fund for the Dutch hotel and catering industry, was not an option, as the difference in funding levels would have required Jaarbeurs to make an additional payment.

At October-end, the coverage ratios at Horeca and Jaarbeurs was 120% and 103.5%, respectively.

The pension fund PNO Media was also dropped, as its pension plan’s contribution was too high compared with the premium charged by Pensioenfonds Jaarbeurs.

In the end, PGB was selected because “it could almost entirely adopt the current pension arrangements of Jaarbeurs”.

“There was no significant difference in funding, the contribution level was right, and the investment policy of both schemes was almost the same,” Jaarbeurs’ board said.

The transfer to PGB – scheduled for 31 December – is still subject to regulatory approval.

In other news, Koopvaardij, the €3.2bn pension fund for the Dutch merchant navy, has said it will grant its 54,000 participants 50% indexation.

The scheme’s board said it could now afford inflation compensation, on the back of a coverage ratio of 112.3% at October-end and “good investment results” this year.

It has decided to grant its pensioners and deferred members an indexation of 0.29%, equating to 50% of the consumer index.

Active participants will see an increase in their pension rights of 0.49%, which is 50% of the salary increase in the sector, it said.

The board said indexation would be unlikely next year due to the stricter rules put in place by the new financial assessment framework (FTK), which will come into force on 1 January.

The scheme has not granted inflation compensation since 2010, but neither has it cut pension rights over the period.

The board said an analysis of the development of its long-term financial position suggested its options for indexation would be limited for the next 15 years.

Lastly, the €17.2bn Philips Pensioenfonds has claimed that new FTK rules for “sustainable indexation” could prevent the scheme from granting full inflation compensation for the next 5-6 years. 

The company scheme has failed to grant indexation since 2011, and saw its indexation in arrears increase to 6.5%.

It said the new FTK would only allow a compensation for this arrears in small steps and only after the pension fund’s funding – currently 110% – exceeded 125%.