OPG settles legal claim with SSGA
NETHERLANDS - The pension fund OPG has reached a settlement agreement with State Street Global Advisers (SSgA) concerning the loss of all assets related to the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
The €200m pension fund of the pharmaceuticals wholesale group Mediq had filed a lawsuit against State Street, claiming €47m in compensation for assets lost in November 2008.
According to OPG, the assets were part of a global equity mandate, and had not been separated and protected by SSgA.
A Dutch court recently supported one of OPG's claims and ordered State Street to pay €40m plus interest.
OPG's sponsoring company Mediq, which had also filed a lawsuit in the US, said in a statement that the undisclosed settlement now attained is an end to the dispute.
At the same time, Mediq also announced the pension fund's cover ratio has now increased from 93% at the end of 2008 to 120%, which is far ahead of its recovery plan needs.
"Both OPG and Mediq are very pleased with the outcome, which has considerably improved the scheme's solidity, and even allows for the indexation of pension rights," commented Marc van Gelder, chief executive of Mediq.
The recovery plan was designed to raise the cover ratio to 105% by 2012.
As a result of the improved funding position, Mediq will now decrease its contribution from 30% to 24%, and halt the promised additional donations to the pensions totalling €12.5m for the period 2008-2011, said Van Gelder.
A spokeswoman for OPG said the scheme will rebalance its investment portfolio, which consisted of 87% fixed income, 3% equity and 10% equities, by the end of 2009, with the assistance of its new fiduciary manager, Kempen Capital Management.
OPG's current strategic investment mix is designed to hold 36% equities and 60% fixed income investments, with the remaining assets invested in property and commodities.
The pension fund has 4,522 participants, of whom 675 are pensioners and 2,450 are deferred members.
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