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'Pension Funds Must Not Take Hasty Action'




October 12, 2008




Half of Holland’s pension funds are thought to have funding ratios under the recommended 105% level, reports Saturday’s Financieele Dagblad. 

If the ratio falls below 100%, it means funds do not have enough assets to meet pension payments.

Quoting unnamed sources, the Financieele Dagblad says Dutch civil service pension fund ABP has dipped under the 105% level. 

The fund, one of the biggest in the world with assets of €170bn, has lost €38bn invested in shares this year, the paper claims, quoting pension experts. 

The Dutch central bank has written to some 600 pension funds warning them not to act hastily in efforts to keep their funds balanced.

‘In the event of an actual shortfall, pension funds should not take any rash decisions but should draw up a thorough analysis of the fund’s situation and its management tools, culminating in a recovery plan,’ the bank said in a letter to fund directors.

The central bank also pointed out that funds are not required to take immediate action if their assets fall below the required 105% funding ratio. 

The bank also said that it is too soon to say what the effect of the crisis is on the Dutch pension system. 

The Amsterdam stock exchange’s blue chip index closed down 8.5% on Friday after another week of heavy losses. The AEX ended the session at 258.05 points. The biggest loser was insurance group Aegon, which fell 16.8%

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