NETHERLANDS - SBZ, the €2.2bn pension fund for care insurer employees, is thinking of contracting out the management of its administration as well as its implementation activities, for what appears to be an internal restructuring of resources.

As a first step, the scheme has requested ‘a number' of selected candidates submit information for the tender, though other players can also show their interest, the scheme said in a statement.

SBZ said its 25-strong staff will be employed by the appointed new provider and has insisted present service levels will be maintained, as part of the conditions for any outsourcing agreement.

SBZ is still carrying out the administration activities, for example when coordinating and guiding its external parties, though they in future be part of the activities to be contracted-out.

Peter van Gemst, the scheme's director, was unwilling to elaborate further but said "although the quality of our service is good and our customer satisfaction is high, developments on the markets for pension provision and for care insurance have made us look for an external provider".

The scheme's asset management has already been contracted out, and will continue to be managed by Fortis Investments and Russell Investment Group, while the contracting-out process is being guided by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The industry-wide fund covers five average salary schemes used by 58 sponsoring employers, and delivers pension benefits to 17,000 active participants, 20,000 deferred members and 5,500 pensioners. The scheme has a cover ratio of 105%.