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ABN to launch insurance pension fund in Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG- ABN Amro is to launch an insurance-based pensions vehicle for its Luxembourg employees and for those based in the Netherlands that might transfer to the Duchy.

The new insurance fund will cover employees of ABN Amro bank, its investment fund, trust, insurance arm and Ebica, the pensions consultancy launched in late 2000. The defined contribution fund, which awaits regulatory approval, is likely to start with around 500 members.

Ebica, which was set up by ABN Amro Life and ABN Amro Bank Luxembourg, will manage the fund which has a board of directors made up of representatives from the five parties involved.

Philippe Leonard, director of Ebica, says: “the reason we chose this structure is that you don’t need a minimum capital requirement like the Assep where you need five million Euros within ten years.

Leonard is confident the project will be followed by further similar funds. “We have had a lot of contact with large multinationals in the last year. There is a big interest in pan-European structures and in the new EC directive.”

Leonard says telecom and oil companies, including Total Fina Elf, have shown particular interest.

An imminent judgement in the Danner case is fuelling interest in possible pan European fund structures. Varying tax laws across Europe are seen as the last hurdle to pan European funds but Leonard says Luxembourg’s pensions vehicles are helped by the country’s abundance of double tax treaties.

The ABN fund is similar to that set up by tyre maker Goodyear which was the first company to receive approval from Luxembourg’s ministry of finance to launch an insurance-based pension fund.

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