NETHERLANDS - Leny van der Heiden has been appointed as the new deputy director and policy manager of the Dutch Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds, or VB.

The VB said van der Heiden, 49, will take over from Karin Bitter, who moved to Interpolis Pensions as policy and development manager in September.

“VB’s new deputy head has been working at the ministry of Social Affairs for 22 years. She has been senior policy officer pensions of the Directorate of Labour Relations as of 1996,” the VB said.

“At the ministry of Social Affairs, van der Heiden has been involved in the change of the state pension legislation, or AOW, the introduction of the Surviving Relatives Bill and the policy for the elderly,” it added.

Van der Heiden has also been involved in the negotiations between the cabinet and the social partners on the adjustment of the fiscal framework for the early retirement schemes VUT and prepension, and the set-up of the levensloop scheme.

She will start on March 1.

Meanwhile, the industry-wide pension fund for the building societies, or SPW, reported third-quarter returns of 5.6% -0.9% over the benchmark. The returns over the first three-quarters of 2005 are 11.9%.

According to SPW, all investment portfolios yielded positive returns during the third quarter. The returns on alternative investments, which had been minus 0.8% in the second quarter, have risen to 9%. Equity, fixed interest and real estate yielded 10.5%, 0.6% and 6.7% respectively.

The total of SPW’s invested assets rose by €0.2bn to over €3.7bn. Its coverage ratio increased from 121% to 127%.