NETHERLANDS - Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn, the industry-wide pension fund for the healthcare industry, saw its cover ratio rise back up to 100% by the end of May and its assets climb to €74.4bn.

Information just issued on the pension fund's website reveals the fund has now regained eight percentage points in assets under management since December, when its cover ratio was 92% and the fund had €71.5bn in assets under management.

This latest gain is said to be thanks to improvements in investment returns - which have so far contributed a four percentage point gain - while long-term interest rates have also added six percentage points to the value of the cover ratio, though an interest rate hedge has actually lowered the buffer fund by two percentage points.

Pension fund officials noted the value of the fund can swing widely from one day to the next but they want to improve openness and explain how the fund is doing during the current financial crisis by giving members a monthly update on its funding status, in part because there is now so much social pressure on pension funds.

The next update on PfZW's cover ratio to the end of June will therefore be published on the website in mid-July.

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