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Dutch funds back new pension research institute

NETHERLANDS – Some of the leading Dutch pension funds and financial institutions have back a new 25 million-euro pension research institute called Netspar.

It will be based at the University of Tilburg, under the management of Professor Lans Bovenberg of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. It will also involve researchers from other universities.

More than 20 different parties have already given their support to the new institute, such as PGGM, ABP, SFB, MN Services, the Social Insurance Bank, ING and Achmea. With a budget of around 25 million euros, Netspar will be focusing on intra-sectoral pension issues, with emphasis on the long-term.

Bovenberg told IPE that the institute was set up to assess the current and future changes in the sector, to conduct long-term research into the effects of ageing, pension systems and saving behaviour.

He added it has become necessary to integrate the current knowledge of the three pillars of the Dutch pension system with existing national and international scientific research.

Netspar will not only provide research and advice, but master-level pension graduates.

Bovenberg said Netspar would target three issues: increase long-term research of pensions, support human capital development and to support the exchange of knowledge between all pension sector pillars.

Bovenberg has put the 1.5 million euros granted to him as the Spinoza prize into the scheme himself – which has been doubled by the GAK Foundation. Other sponsors of Netspar are the University of Tilburg with around seven million euros, other Dutch universities (six million euros), while the SVB, pension funds and insurers have put in around nine million euros.

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