The €72bn Dutch metalworkers’ scheme PMT is considering actively informing soon-to-be-retired members about their benefit options.

A recent pilot among 500 participants who were facing retirement in six months’ time had shown that more than a quarter did not pick the default pension after they had been briefed by one of PMT’s pension consultants.

They had been asked – by phone, email or through a personal consultation – by one of PMT’s 16 personal pension advisers what they knew about the choices relating how they received their pension.

A quarter of the participants indicated that they weren’t aware of the option of a drawdown pension.

PMT reported that more than 26% immediately made arrangements for a change after having been in touch with an adviser.

It said this was unusual, as most participants nearing retirement just signed the letter in which the pension fund had already pre-checked the standard options.

Of the participants who opted for changes, 90% picked a drawdown construction, with people explaining that they wanted “to enjoy now”, or that their younger partner was not yet receiving the state pension (AOW).

Of the remaining 10%, half opted to exchange the option of a partner’s pension in favour of an additional pension. The the other half preferred a later retirement date, PMT said.

The pension fund indicated that it wanted to get in touch with 750 more older members, before deciding to extend the approach to the 3,000 to 4,000 workers who are to receive at least €7,000 in pension benefits.

Changes made less sense with lower benefits, PMT said. 

PMT’s board said it would assess whether costs of a personal approach would justify the positive effects of better informed retiring participants. 

The best moment for a personal consultation is two years before retirement, as this would also allow members  also leave with the option to retire earlier.