NETHERLANDS - Jan Snippe, member of the management board of the €14.6bn Philips pension fund has resigned, a company spokesman has confirmed.

"Snippe has vacated his position as of 1 March," he said, whilE declining to explain the reason of the resignation.

As a member of the management board, Snippe approved large property transactions that are now being investigated for fraud.

Part of the investigation focuses on the director of the scheme's property management branch PREIM, as well as his predecessor, who were both arrested in November.

Snippe will stay on as Philips' head of corporate pensions, the body which supports the company's worldwide pensions strategy, the spokesman stressed.

A committee, headed up by Dick de Beus, former executive chairman of the €86bn healthcare scheme PGGM, is investigating the property fraud.

According to unconfirmed reports, the damage resulting from the property fraud is now estimated at between €150m and €175m by the federation of Philips' pensioners associations, however, a spokesman for Philips declined to comment.