The proposed transfer of pension rights from the closed pension fund of temporary employment agency Randstad to ABN Amro Pensions has been abandoned due to the former’s low coverage ratio.

The €1bn Randstad gave participating workers the option of transferring their existing rights – accrued under collective defined contribution (DC) arrangements – to ABN Amro Pensions. 

This came on the back of the employer’s decision to shift pensions accrual to the PPI DC vehicle – run jointly by ABN Amro and APG – as of 1 July.

However, the pension fund’s coverage ratio of 98.6%, as of the end of October, fell short of the 100% required for a value transfer, as dictated by regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

According to Ronald Ganzeboom, the scheme’s deputy director, Randstad met the regulator’s other requirement – that no more than €100m be transferred “to protect” a scheme’s remaining participants.

Ganzeboom added that one-third of the scheme’s 4,500 active participants opted for value transfer.

The pension fund’s board was unable to confirm whether there would be another opportunity for a value transfer, adding that any future decision would depend in part on the development of the funding ratio.

Ganzeboom, however, stressed that the offer had been a “one-off”. 

He pointed out that any new offer would entail an extensive administrative process, as well as require regulatory approval.

“Moreover,” he added, “on 1 January, the pension fund will change its current board, with equal representation for a new and independent one, which is to assess the scheme’s future as well.”

The pension fund previously stated that, despite being a closed scheme, it had the necessary scale and a sufficiently young population to continue independently.

The Randstad Pensioenfonds has approximately 16,000 participants, of which 560 are pensioners.

Last year, it returned 34% on investments.