GLOBAL – ING says exporting the Dutch pension model is fundamental to its strategy of becoming ‘the’ global pensions provider.

ING Group’s Shareholder Bulletin cited global head of pensions Jan Nijssen as saying exporting the Dutch pension model would be a fundamental part of global pensions strategy.

“Nijssen mentions pensions in the same breath as cheese and flowers as viable Dutch export products,” adds the report, which is published by ING’s investor relations department.

Nijssen told the bulletin: “The pension business is long-term business and not the quick buck in the next quarter. The opportunities are certainly there and we are confident that our global pension activities will be a stable value creator for ING and its capital providers.”

Nijssen added: “I strongly believe that the combination of our extensive international expertise as a pensions provider, our financial strength, our stature as a reputable financial services provider and our ability to offer all products and services under one roof, will enable us to position ING as ‘the’ pension provider.”

Nijssen said pensions accounted for around 40% of ING’s pre-tax profits in 2002.

Nijssen was named to the new role of global head of pensions in May this year, with a brief “to initiate, support and expand local pension activities, to leverage global opportunities and to utilise and export proven pension business models”.

Hasko van Dalen, international pensions advisor at ING’s global pensions division, told the bulletin that the variety of pension systems is not necessarily an obstacle. “What we’ve learned so far is that you cannot just copy one pension solution to another country,” he said.

“However, what we try to do in our advisory work is to exchange experiences with governments, if asked, show them how to set up pension laws, make them aware of the kind of choices there are and what’s at stake based on the decisions they make.”

Michal Szczurek, head of ING’s pension fund in Poland, said the fund is now generating regular profits. “We started the pension fund with Greenfield losses of 23 million euros,” he said. “The payback period was about three years and at the moment the pension fund is generating a regular profit or around 15-20 million euros a year.”