NETHERLANDS - Kick van der Pol, chief executive of the merged Dutch pension insurer Interpolis-Achmea, is to step down on October 1, Interpolis has announced.

Due to lasts year's merger, there is no more space for Van der Pol in the reorganised Executive Board of the business.

And executive board members Margriet Tiemstra and Gert van Arkel – who came from Interpolis - will also step down from their positions for this reason.

Maarten Dijkshoorn, chairman of Achmea, will become chief executive.

Both Van der Pol and Tiemstra have no plans as yet for their further career, though Van der Pol has announced a brief time-out. Van Arkel will go into early retirement.

According to Interpolis spokesman Marco Simmers, all three have left of their own free will. Van der Pol was quoted as saying that he wanted to give the right signal to the rest of the newly streamlined company.

Whether they have received severance pay the concern is not willing to reveal.

The merger between Rabobank subsidiary Interpolis and Eureko's Achmea was announced in September last year. Together they form the largest insurer in the Netherlands, with about €10bn of yearly insurance premiums. The new Interpolis-Achmea organisation will be reduced from 20 business units to seven divisions. Due to the fusion about 3,000 jobs will be cut.

Meanwhile, WM Performance Services has released first-half 2006 Dutch Pension Funds Index (DPFI) returns.

The index showed a return of 0.4%, including the effects from currency hedging.

Fixed income showed a negative return of -3.3%, with international bonds down at -6.7%.

And WM said that high equity returns at the beginning of 2006 were “completely eroded” to a return of 0% due to May’s –5.2% return.