BELGIUM - The Flemish municipality Balen has tendered a mandate for a new pension fund for its civil servants.

In an official tender notice publisher earlier this week, the municipality in the north east of Belgium announced it is seeks to set up a reserve scheme which it will fund with yearly contributions from 2009.

The new scheme would be similar to a so called ‘silver fund', the reserve fund set up in 2001 by the federal government to bolster first-pillar pensions, but it will remain in the hands of the council.

The council plans to pay around €1.6m into the scheme once the fund is set up.

While the mandate will go to the most advantageous tender financially, qualifying applicants are required to have more than €500m of pension assets under management.

The municipality expects bancassurers who specialise in managing assets on this basis to tender.

There is no consultant or adviser involved and tenders or requests to participate should be submitted in Dutch by December 5.

In a similar move, Moorslede, a council in the west of Belgium, has appointed Ethias to set up a similar fund.

Kris Wydooghe, a spokesman for the council, told IPE in July the council planned to set up "a rainy day fund with a yearly guaranteed return and a bonus, so that we can use this fund to more easily satisfy our future social security contributions".

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