New Dutch fund names F&C as sole manager

NETHERLANDS- The Dutch transport workers sector fund Beroepsgoederenvervoer has named F&C as the sole manager for its recently-established early retirement fund.

Launched officially at the beginning of the year, the new fund caters for those wishing to retire between 60 and 65, the normal retirement age for Dutch employees.

The Netherlands has another system for early retirement but Herma Polee, chairman of the new fund, says it is financed very differently to a pension scheme.

Explaining the rationale of the new fund, referred to as the early retirement Vervoers scheme, she says: “we wanted to change that so that everybody has their own legal right to early retirement. The system had to be changed.”

She says the early retirement scheme needed to be launched separately since the ‘normal’ retirement fund sets its investment horizon and actuarial calculations strictly at 65 and accommodating early retirement would have proved tricky.

The fund will eventually be e1.75bn in seven years so F&C is being fed e250m a year until 2008.

Says Polee: “F&C already manages some of the assets of the sector pension fund and we have been very pleased with their performance.”

F&C is running the assets in twelve different categories including Dutch, European, US, Japanese, Pacific and emerging markets equities and Euro, non-Euro, US, Japanese, emerging markets and global fixed income.

Dutch supervisors have instructed the fund to take a conservative approach to investment and so it is starting with 20% in equities, rising to 30% in a year.

PVF Achmea, also part of the Eureko Group along with F&C Management, is to provide administration for the new fund which will cover 120,000 workers.

Vervoer’s new pre pension fund only covers goods transporters. There will eventually be a fund for those in the commercial transport sector including bus workers and taxi drivers.

“They are busy in negotiations with the unions but not quite as far advanced as we are in the process,” says Polee.

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