NETHERLANDS - Dutch textile company Blydenstein-Willink, currently better known under the brand name of Verison, is set to close its pension fund on December 31.

The pension fund will join the industry-wide pension fund of the textile sector, BPF, from January next year, according to a statement

Chief executive Aart-Jan Vos told IPE that the change was largely caused by the internal changes of the company. In the past the company had around 1,000 employees, but at present only 130 are left in the Netherlands.

Due to lower subscriber volume, a corporate pension fund is not anymore feasible, a merger with an industry-wide pension fund the only solution left.

A total overview of the subscribers, deferred and pensioners could not be given at present. The so-called surplus value of the fund will be paid out to the current subscribers, but specific figures were not available. The assets will be merged with BPF.

The surplus value of the fund could be substantial, as the fund has been above the coverage ratio set by the PVK regulator.

According to Vos, the relationship with adviser KPMG will be ended – with AZL in Heerlen taking over. One of the reasons for the closure was new accounting rules - which would have put the liabilities of the fund on the balance sheet of the parent company.

According to Thea Boeschoten, AZL’s advisor to the BPF board, the textile sector in the Netherlands is in difficulties. Blydenstein-Willink has sold some parts of the company, leaving not enough reason to keep its own pension fund alive.