NETHERLANDS - The €99bn healthcare scheme PFZW and the regional public transport pension fund SPOV will deploy a bus as a mobile office to inform participants about pensions at their workplace.

The SPOV bus began touring last week, providing pension information at the garages of bus companies Connexion and Veolia in three different towns and attracting dozens of participants, according to spokesman Hennie Zoontjes.

"A pension is a low-key product and therefore requires a low-threshold approach to reach the participants," he explained.

SPOV informs workers, usually through their employers, about the visit of the information bus. Employees can make an appointment with one of the advisors on board to discuss their personal situation or simply walk in to ask questions.

The team on the bus has as many as 20 appointments each time, but has found that roughly twice as many workers walk in spontaneously for information and advice, Zoontjes said.

"Many questions were asked about the uniform pension statement UPO, but quite a few visitors wanted to know when they could take retirement, against which benefits and whether they could take part-time retirement," he said.

According to the spokesman, the participants have responded enthusiastically and indicated that this method of information provision had helped them to "cross the barrier".

SPOV's pension bus will visit 10 additional locations this autumn before its effectiveness is  evaluated, Zoontjes said.

PFZW's information bus will begin touring in November, initially on a temporary basis, according to spokesman Bram van Els.