The Dutch pension funds for the travel sector (Reiswerk) and the hospitality industry (Horeca & Catering) have granted their affiliated employers a one-month respite for paying their pension contributions.

Both schemes said they expected the subsequently required payments to be covered by the government’s guarantee by paying up to 90% of salary costs.

The €12.5bn hospitality scheme said it will defer its direct debit from 31 March to 30 April, adding that it is fleshing out arrangements to prevent double charges by then.

Arnold Jager, chair of the €549m Reiswerk scheme, said it will extend the payment deadline for March by 45 days rather than the usual 14 days.

By deferring premium payments, the pension funds responded to the big crisis in their respective sectors, as pubs and restaurants have been forced to close, and travel organisations suffer from unprecedented numbers of cancellations.

As a consequence, employers are afraid they can no longer keep up their contribution payments.

“In April we will reassess the situation,” said Jager, adding that he hoped the government’s compensation scheme will include at least part of the pension premiums.

Clarity about the definition of “salary costs” is expected at the end of this week. Jager said it was definitely the pension fund’s intention to ultimately receive contributions.

Its funding of 92.3% at February-end has likely dropped much further since the market collapsed this month.

He said Reiswerk had already received February contributions from most of its 800 affiliated employers, and that a couple of dozen companies had requested deferment.

“We will discuss the issue with these companies in order to find tailor-made solutions.”