NETHERLANDS - Metakektro, the 13 billion-euro pension fund for metal and electrical workers, returned 2.4% in the third quarter.

The fund said it is on track to achieve a coverage ratio of 105% by the end of the year. The regulator, Pensioen- & Verzekeringskamer or PVK, has required Dutch funds to achieve this level of coverage.

Metakektro, known as PME, has recorded a year-to-date return of 8.2%. Best performing asset class in the period was equities, which returned 4.2%. Fixed income was up 0.3% and real estate rose 1.5%.

In the second quarter, the fund's overall return was 7.4%; in the first quarter it was -1.5%.

PME said that financial markets showed a further increase in the third quarter, due to indications of economic revival. The fund says that the results so far this year indicate that its aim – stated in its recovery plan - to achieve a coverage ratio of 105% by the end of 2003 will be met.

The fund added that it plans to raise premiums by three percent to 23%. And the fund said its board doubted whether the government’s plans to axe tax breaks for early retirement would boost labour market participation. It said the financial advantages seen by the cabinet were “doubtful”.