Pensioenfonds NIBC, the €390m pension fund for the Dutch merchant bank NIBC, has opted to join a general pension fund (APF) rather than a non-mandatory sector scheme for its future pension provision.
In a newsletter to its members, it said it had concluded that the consolidation vehicle offered the best alternative for the medium term, when taking into account its say in continuing its pension arrangements, governance as well as exit conditions.
It added that it had also looked at criteria such as expected pension payments, contribution levels and the risk profile on investments.
The scheme’s board said it had found two players offering “future proof arrangements which also seemed to be financially affordable”.
It will now focus on the selection process, which include an assessment of the financial consequences for the various groups of participants, investment policy and transition process, it added.
The fund also said its aim was to keep new pensions accrual and existing pension rights with a single player.
It had previously indicated that its current model for pensions provision was not up to the challenges the scheme is facing, citing continuously low interest rates, additional legal requirements as well as the development of a new pensions system.
The scheme said that filling board vacancies with the company’s staff was also posing a problem.
The scheme has 570 active participants. It reported administration costs of €783 per participant for 2018. At the end of 2019, its funding level stood at 99.7%.
Pensioenfonds NIBC said its search for a new model for pensions provision is being guided by consultancy Montae & Partners. A decision is expected before the summer.
Homecare director ordered to pay €900,000 premium bill
The court of justice in Arnhem has ordered the director of a collapsed homecare organisation to pay Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW €900,000 of unpaid bills for pension contributions.
Trees Zwienenberg, the director and owner of Solace ATC, had failed to meet financial obligations between 2012 and 2015, according to the pension fund.
The company, which employed 200 staff, went bust in 2016. In March 2016 – a couple of months before Solace folded – PFZW had sent Zwienenberg an enforcement order to pay €896,000.
PFZW said the director was personally liable, as she had failed in her legal duty to report that she was unable to fulfill the payment.
The court dismissed Zwienenberg’s defence since the mandatory announcement had lapsed, as PFZW was already knowledgeable of Solace’s liquidity shortfall.
It also considered Zwienenberg’s lawyer’s written claim to PFZW in 2012 that showed her organisation’s outlook was sufficient to meet its financial obligations in time.
While uphelding a magistrate’s verdict, the court decided to reduce Zwienenberg’s debt to €733,000, as she had been able to prove that she had paid two of the seven bills in total.
Both Zwienenberg and her lawyer suggested the healthcare pension fund was willing to negotiate a settlement. However, PFZW’s legal adviser said he declined to comment on individual cases.
— to www.ipe.com