New Belgian metal fund is up and running

BELGIUM- A pension fund for white collar workers in Belgium’s metal industry first touted at the beginning of the year has started operating and early indications suggest membership will exceed initial expectations.

The aim of the new fund is to provide coverage for those white collar workers whose employers fail to offer them scheme membership. Two years ago a similar fund for blue collar workers launched and it now boasts a membership of 175,000.

Initial estimates for membership of the white collar fund were between 7,000 and 10,000. Fritz Potemans at Agoria, the Brussels-based association for employer groups in the industry, says 10,000 workers have already joined and a further 2,000 are expected by the end of the year.

Agoria has selected Integrale, a local multi employer pensions provider, to run the entire scheme. Potemans considered a number of providers to oversee the scheme but Integrale prevailed as it offered the best rates and had an impressive investment track record.

There are no official estimates of the size of the scheme as funds are still being collected. Employers, however, are obliged to pay 0.5% of employees’ gross salaries.

Potemans says they have yet to hear back from some companies that are obliged to contribute to the fund. He hopes to have all the members and their contributions in place by the end of the year.

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