THE NETHERLANDS - SPF Beheer has offered ‘collegial' assistance to small pension funds, which want to remain independent, it announced. 

The pensions provider, which manages the €11.4bn railways pension fund SPF and the €2.2bn public transport scheme SPOV, indicated it aims at helping to cope with the increasing requirements for pension funds on a fraternal basis. This as an alternative to obtaining assistance from commercial players.

Utrecht-based SPF Beheer's says it can provide practical ad hoc advice, second opinions and specific training on asset management and pensions. In addition, it is also prepared to offer independent back-up and management assistance.

"Core of the services is that the hiring party keeps its own responsibility," SPF Beheer stressed. "We aim at the management of small self-administered pension schemes, and not their boards."

The pensions provider mentions the International Financial Reporting Standards, the financial assessment framework FTK, board communication, asset liability management and contributions policy, as possible subjects for advice.

SBF Beheer is also prepared to supply staff from its 180-strong team during limited periods, it said.

According to SPF Beheer, a survey amongst managers of 35 small pension funds had made clear an interest for assistance.

An SPF Beheer's spokeswoman indicated that the provider is already assisting a small company pension fund. She however declined to give further details.