Packaging material manufacturer Smurfit Kappa and the unions have reached an agreement on the firm’s plan to place pensions accrual for its Dutch staff with a single pension fund.

The employer will pay an additional contribution of €2.4m to its €772m pension fund.

In addition, the 300 active participants of the €142m Pensioenfonds Smurfit Nederland, who are to join the larger scheme, will now pay the same premium as their Smurfit Kappa colleague members and will join the same pension plan.

Under the initial plan, the transferring participants would have to pay a higher contribution, while their accrued pension – reinsured by Nationale Nederlanden – would no longer be raised for inflation compensation.

The parties have agreed that the €2.4m would be paid into a separate deposit, to be managed by the remaining pension fund for all (former) participants of Pensioenfonds Smurfit Nederland, which is to be liquidated.

The employer had already promised to pay €550,000 in total for the transfer of defined contribution plans to Smurfit Kappa pension fund, as well as the transfer of defined benefit pensions to Nationale Nederlanden.

Any assets remaining after the liquidation of the Pensioenfonds Smurfit Nederland would be used for a one-off indexation of pension rights at the insurer, according to the parties.

At the end of November, the funding ratio at Smurfit Kappa stood at 101.4%.

Van Lanschot scheme closes to new entrants

The €1.1bn pension fund of Dutch boutique investor Van Lanschot Kempen has closed to new entrants as of 1 January.

On its website, it said it was assessing possible scenarios for its future, while highlighting that it was able to continue independently for the time being.

It announced it had sufficient financial means to pay for pensions provision without affecting its funding ratio, and that its governance was up-to-date.

According to the pension fund, 2020 was a “logical moment” to look at new pension arrangements, as the contract for pensions provision between the employer and the scheme expired at the end of 2019.

Currently, the pension fund implements a defined benefit plan for employees with a salary up to €52,807, and defined contribution arrangements for any surplus salary.

A spokesman for the company said new pensions accrual – in a DC plan – was placed with ASR, adding that the employer intended to collectively transfer the accrued DC capital for the salary part exceeding €52,807 to ASR.

At the end of November, the scheme’s coverage ratio stood at 107.8%. The pension fund has approximately 1,120 active participants, 2,355 deferred members and 795 pensioners.