NETHERLANDS - Four more pension schemes have joined the initiative of Dutch railways pension fund SPF for a joint ‘levensloop', or life course, scheme.

The company schemes Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin and Campagne, and the occupational pension funds for pharmacists and their staff, will also cooperate in the ‘LevensloopPlus’.

The LevensloopPlus will be coordinated by SPF Beheer. But since pension funds aren’t allowed to implement a levensloop scheme themselves, it will be carried out by a new company called LevensloopPlus.

The joint initiative was announced in June. Besides the railways pension fund SPF, the pension fund for the public transport SPOV, Pensioenfonds PNO Media and the industry-wide pension fund for the agricultural wholesale AVH, took part.

The eight participating pension funds represent 3,296 companies and over 100,000 workers. “There are negotiations with potentially new participants,” SPF spokesman Paul Klinkert said.

According to the schemes, their 'flexible' LevensloopPlus will be an investment fund, with four choices of different combinations of a liquidities fund and a mix fund.

“The investments will be in money market instruments, and euro bonds of a maximum eight-year term. The investment policy will be focussed on strict limitation of credit and currency risks.”

Participating pension funds can keep on serving their members themselves, for example via a front office application with the pension provider, if the member agrees.

The levensloop – meant to discourage early retirement - allows for tax-friendly saving for intermediate leave, e.g. study, parental and care leave, but also for early retirement.