Mercurius, the €269m pension fund for the Dutch financial sector, has confirmed plans to liquidate itself and transfer accrued pension rights to other pension providers.

The five companies affiliated with the pension fund had already made clear they did not want to extend their contracts due to disappointing results.

Last year, Mercurius – also known as PMA – returned 9.1%, underperforming its benchmark by 3.3 percentage points.

Its current coverage ratio is 97.4%.

Two employers – exchange firm Euronext and clearing house LCH.Clearnet – wanted to leave accrued pension rights with Mercurius but have opted for further accrual elsewhere.

However, PMA’s board has concluded that the pension fund has no right of existence without the affiliated companies.

“Continuation as a closed scheme will incur risks and costs, and won’t offer any perspective for indexation,” it said.

The board said it would aim to transfer the pension rights of Euronext and LCH.Clearnet to an insurer.

It added that it was willing to grant communication supervisor AFM and financial services provider Euroclear a collective value transfer.

The AFM has decided to establish its own pension fund, whereas Euroclear wants to place its pensions with a new cross-border pension scheme.

PMA said it was still waiting for a response from DSI, the register of financial experts, which has also requested a value transfer.

Last year, the five employers held preliminary talks over a new industry-wide scheme for the financial sector, Pecunia.

The initiative faltered, however, after pensions provider APG withdrew its support.

With its current coverage of 97.4%, Mercurius’s funding is well short of the required minimum of 105%.

Its board said further rights cuts of “a couple of percentage points” was still possible.

PMA has 790 active participants, 840 deferred members and 220 pensioners.