NETHERLANDS - The city council of The Hague has chosen insurer Aegon to provide a life course (levensloop) pension arrangement for all of its 8,000 employees, Aegon announced.

The city's mayor Wim Deetman has signed a contract for a collective scheme, with a basic interest of 3.5% on the savings and ‘low investment costs', the insurer added.

On top of the interest, participants will receive a bonus of 0.5% during 2006, plus a ‘collectivity bonus', Aegon spokesman Ronald Kooren told IPE. Depending on the investment fund, the management fee for investments will be between 0.75 and 1.2%, he said.

"Our ultimate choice was Aegon, not only because of its levensloop product itself, but also because of its administrative support and its experience within the pensions world," Deetman commented.

"Aegon's support consists of workers' meetings, an e-learning tool for human resources staff, information packs and the possibility of subscribing online," the insurers chairman of the board of directors, Johan van der Werf, explained.

Via Aegon's LevensloopRekening, workers can save or invest, or they can opt for a combination of both. One option is ‘profile investing', in which the investment mix becomes decreasingly risky as the retirement date approaches. Investors can also choose for a deposit guarantee to secure the benefit.

According to Aegon, large companies like Akzo Nobel, KPN, Philips and Shell, have already chosen the insurer as provider of their levensloop schemes. Aegon claims to have become the largest insurer on the levensloop market.

Spokesman Ronald Kooren however declined to indicate how many company contracts the insurer has already concluded, or how many individuals have a levensloop scheme with Aegon.

The collective levensloop contract was concluded by mediation of Aon Nederland, a service provider on risk management, employee benefits and insurances, Aegon said.