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Dutch roundup: Vervoer, KLM, Gazelle, Pon

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Vervoer, the €15.7bn pension fund for the private road and waterways transport sector in the Netherlands, has reported a 6% return for the first quarter of 2014. 

Over the first three months of the year, its coverage ratio improved by 3.4 percentage points to 112.7%.

Vervoer attributed the increase of its coverage to its 64.3% fixed income holdings and falling interest rates, as well as a positive return on its derivates to hedge the interest risk on its liabilities.

The transport scheme, which has 624,000 participants in total, said its fixed income and equity holdings returned more than 3% and 0.7%, respectively, while property and infrastructure returned 0.7% and 2%.

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Elsewhere, with a return of 3.7%, the €2.2bn KLM pension fund for cabin staff was the best performing scheme of the three large schemes of the Dutch airline over the first quarter.

The pension fund’s coverage ratio rose by 0.6 percentage points to 123.6%, equating to a real funding of 78.7%.

The Stichting Pensioenfonds Cabinepersoneel KLM reported returns for fixed income, equity and property of 3.3%, 1.7% and 2.9%, respectively, while a 50% interest hedge contributed 1.4 percentage points to the total result.

However, following rising equity markets, it lost 0.1 percentage points on its equity cover.

Over the same period, the €6.6bn KLM scheme for ground staff achieved a return of 3% due mainly to the rising value of its bonds portfolio.

Its interest hedge contributed 0.5 percentage points to the quarterly result of the Algemeen Pensioenfonds of KLM.

According to the scheme, fixed income, equity and real estate returned 3.6%, 1.7% and 2.8%, respectively.

It added that it was considering investing in existing funds of Dutch mortgage loans, as a way of diversifying its portfolio.

Since year-end, the coverage ratio of the pension fund for ground staff rose from 122.1% to 122.8%.

The €7.3bn KLM scheme for cockpit staff (Vliegend Personeel) reported a quarterly return of 2.5%, while its coverage rose by 0.5 percentage point to 133.3%.

The assets of the KLM schemes are managed by Blue Sky Group.

In other news, the €85m pension fund of bicycle manufacturer Gazelle has joined SPP, the €660m multi-company scheme of Dutch Volkswagen importer Pon.

SPP was alreading managing the pension assets of the Stichting Pensioenfonds Pon Holdings (SPPH), the Stichting Pensioenfonds Geveke (SPG) and the surviving relatives scheme of the Stichting Pensioenfonds Pon.

The Gazelle pension fund has approximately 1,875 participants in total, and was founded in 1927.

Although it is part of the metal and electrotechnical engineering industry, it had been exempt from mandatory participation in the industry-wide metal scheme PME.

The scheme said it decided to join the multi scheme for reasons of continuity, expertise and costs.

The Pon multi scheme was established on 1 January 2012 to simplify joint operations, while allowing the participating pension plans to keep their own characteristics.

An additional consideration was that, because of the ring-fenced assets within the multi scheme, the principle of solidarity between participants could remain limited to the individual pension plan, SPP said.

The multi-company scheme has now approximately 10,550 participants in total.

Following their respective collective labour agreements (CAOs), a large part of the Pon employees are participants of either metal scheme PME or PMT, the pension fund for the metalworking and mechanical engineering industry.

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