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Pension fund for Dutch retailers leaves Syntrus Achmea for TKP

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Detailhandel, the €12bn pension fund for the Dutch retail sector, has said it will not extend its five-year contract for pensions provision with Syntrus Achmea. 

René Upperman, the scheme’s director, declined to elaborate on the reason why the pension fund planned to sever its ties with the provider but said it would transfer its pensions administration to Aegon subsidiary TKP.

Syntrus Achmea spokesman Erik van der Struijs said: “In recent years, we have focused on change, but during the process we have further drifted apart.

“We have succesfully transferred a large number of clients to our new IT platform, and Detailhandel was also scheduled to move this new ‘target environment’.

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“However, the pension fund used the opportunity to change providers.”

The retail scheme, with 245,000 active participants, almost 80,000 pensioners and more than 600,000 deferred members, is one of Syntrus Achmea’s larger clients. 

Syntrus Achmea’s Van der Struijs conceded that the loss of Detailhandel would not be offset by new clients, such as the pension funds of Unisys Netherlands and the new individual DC scheme of Shell Netherlands.

He also confirmed the departure of Detailhandel would lead to the loss of 100 jobs at Syntrus Achmea and a write-off of goodwill.

The retail scheme replaced Syntrus Achmea Asset Management with fiduciary manager BlackRock in 2011.

Parent company Achmea reported a €46m loss during the first six months of 2014, due partly to a €78m goodwill write-off at Syntrus Achmea.

According to Achmea, Syntrus Achmea’s results were “disappointing”, citing falling management fees at its property branch SA Vastgoed, as well as the pending departure of Detailhandel.

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