NETHERLANDS - The Dutch health care scheme PGGM is looking into paying pensions partly in kind, its chairman Karel Noordzij has said.

During the National Innovation Event, Noordzij mentioned the possibility of a benefit in the shape of care services for elderly, or a larger financial benefit in exchange for the ownership of their property.

According to the chairman of Holland’s second largest pension fund, there is a great demand amongst pensioners for a sale-and-lease-back construction of their home, which could be linked to additional services.

As an example, he mentioned a PGGM credit card, which allows elderly to buy care services, or the discounted services of a house-painter or a gardener.

In Noordzij’s opinion, PGGM could play a role in offering a personal coach for pensioners, who takes care of all the services required for an independent life.

“The search for pension alternatives is still in its study phase, and the implementation of any scheme won’t happen in the short-term,” PGGM spokesman Cor Brockhoven stressed. “Our board is supposed to decide next year whether there will be a pilot project.”

Meanwhile, the industry-wide metalworking scheme PMT has announced a decrease in contributions by 1.3% to 14.6%.

For the first time since 2003, it will pay full indexation of price and salary developments. Moreover, it will pay 0.5% as a compensation for indexation arrears, it said.

According to PMT, the changes are due to a cheaper scheme and an improved financial position of the pension fund – adding that the contribution of 14.6% covers its costs.

PMT is the third largest pension fund in the Netherlands. It has 340,000 members and €25.5bn of assets under management. Its coverage ratio is 119%, based on the fixed accounting rate of 4%.