NETHERLANDS - SPF, the €1.8bn occupational pension fund for physiotherapists, has announced it is considering closer collaboration with the occupational schemes for obstetricians (SPV) and veterinary surgeons (SPD).

These schemes have already been cooperating on establishing professional associations, as a way to justify the mandatory character of the occupational pension funds.

But since the schemes also share the pensions provider Interpolis, SPF's board is now assessing the possibility for greater links on pension administration and communication as well, according to its annual figures.

That said, SPF stressed further cooperation should not happen at the expense of its own identity.

Earlier this year, SPF extended its contract with Interpolis Pensions Asset Management for six years, and concluded a contract with Grontmij/Kats & Waalwijk on property asset management for a similar period, it said. It renewed its contract on administration with Interpolis Pensioenbeheer last year.

SPF's coverage ratio is almost 235%, allowing its board to pay its participants 4.55% for indexation in 2007. Its aim is to grant a yearly increase of pension promises of at least 3.75%.

The physiotherapists' scheme returned 4.6% on its assets last year, which is 0.3% short of its benchmark. With a yield of 9.2%, equity was the best returning asset class, it said.

Property and fixed income returned 8.5% and 1.6% respectively, while liquid assets returned 3.2%. Hedging of €237m of dollar investments yielded 0.8%.

According to SPF, it has no active policy on tactical asset allocation, but follows ‘completion management', to minimise the risks of deviation from the strategic weighing, instead.

At present, an ALM study into the risks on interest, currency and equities is being conducted, the scheme added.

SPF has 24,900 participants, of whom 14,500 active physiotherapists, 8,300 deferred members and 1,170 pensioners.