Employers and trade unions have annouced they want the Dutch pension fund for general practitioners in training (HAIO) to join SPH, the large occupational scheme for GPs.

On their respective websites, the employer and worker organisation for trainee GPs (LAD) and the pension fund stated the aim is to also place existing pension rights with SPH.

The €26m HAIO, which has 3,000 participants, cited stricter regulation and increasing costs as the most important reasons to join the €12bn SPH.

It said 90% of its participants ultimately joined SPH, after being HAIO participants for three years on average.

Maaike Langerak, the LAD’s negotiator for collective labour agreements, said that at SPH trainee GPs would enjoy the same defined benefit arrangements as regular doctors.

At HAIO, which doesn’t have any pensioners, members are subject to a defined contribution plan.

After the trainees complete their education, they must transfer their accrued pension rights to another provider, usually SPH, but also the healthcare scheme PFZW.

The contribution at HAIO is 8.5% of the entire salary, whereas SPH charges slightly more than 17% of the pensionable income.

Both organisations said the transfer to SPH was provisional and would only go ahead if 60% of trainee GPs become members of the occupational pensions association for doctors, the client of SPH.

The deadline for enrollment is 17 January. Once pensions have been transferred to SPH, HAIO will be liquidated.