first_imgThe Croatian government’s plan to use a concession agreement to monetise the debts of Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC), Croatia’s national motorway authority, and Autocesta Rijeka-Zagreb (ARZ), the state-owned company that operates the Rijeka-Zagreb motorway, is in danger of unravelling.According to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, the combined debts of HAC and ARZ totalled HRK33bn (€4.3bn) in principal alone.Under the agreement, unveiled in 2013, the government would lease the country’s two main highways and ancillary roads for 30-50 years to a winning consortium in return for a one-off payment of up to HRK2bn to reduce public debt.The new operator’s revenue streams would include tolls and income from motorway services, while the government retained fuel excise duties. The bidding groups include Croatia’s four mandatory pension funds (OMFs), for which participation represents a new long-term investment vehicle.Opponents of the plan, who describe the project as a form of privatisation that would lead to higher motoring costs and job losses, have suggested alternatives such as rescheduling the debts or financing them through government bond sales open to the public, as well as pension funds.From the government’s perspective, neither solution reduces the country’s general government debt, which had risen to 77% of GDP by the end of June 2014, from 68.5% a year earlier.Meanwhile, eliminating the associated interest costs, the government argues, would free up revenues for new infrastructure investment.In October, a group of construction trade unions, trade union associations and civil society organisations initiated a call for a referendum supporting a ban on concession schemes for existing highways.The group claims it has obtained the necessary number of signatures – 10% of the eligible voting population.The 400,000-odd signatures now have to be verified by a parliamentary committee.Prime minister Zoran Milanović, while stating he would respect the outcome of the referendum, is nevertheless referring it to the Constitutional Court.He wants the Court to examine, among other things, the implications for lost revenues for OMFs’ 1.7m members should the referendum pass.The timing could not be worse.The bidding consortia have until the end of this month to submit non-binding proposals, followed by a period of negotiations.According to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, a shortlist may be published in December or January.It is also possible that none of the bids are acceptable, although currently the government has not announced an alternative proposal to deal with the motorway debts.last_img read more

first_imgThe proposed transfer of pension rights from the closed pension fund of temporary employment agency Randstad to ABN Amro Pensions has been abandoned due to the former’s low coverage ratio.The €1bn Randstad gave participating workers the option of transferring their existing rights – accrued under collective defined contribution (DC) arrangements – to ABN Amro Pensions. This came on the back of the employer’s decision to shift pensions accrual to the PPI DC vehicle – run jointly by ABN Amro and APG – as of 1 July.However, the pension fund’s coverage ratio of 98.6%, as of the end of October, fell short of the 100% required for a value transfer, as dictated by regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). According to Ronald Ganzeboom, the scheme’s deputy director, Randstad met the regulator’s other requirement – that no more than €100m be transferred “to protect” a scheme’s remaining participants.Ganzeboom added that one-third of the scheme’s 4,500 active participants opted for value transfer.The pension fund’s board was unable to confirm whether there would be another opportunity for a value transfer, adding that any future decision would depend in part on the development of the funding ratio.Ganzeboom, however, stressed that the offer had been a “one-off”. He pointed out that any new offer would entail an extensive administrative process, as well as require regulatory approval.“Moreover,” he added, “on 1 January, the pension fund will change its current board, with equal representation for a new and independent one, which is to assess the scheme’s future as well.”The pension fund previously stated that, despite being a closed scheme, it had the necessary scale and a sufficiently young population to continue independently.The Randstad Pensioenfonds has approximately 16,000 participants, of which 560 are pensioners.Last year, it returned 34% on investments.last_img read more

first_imgIt added: “We will work with these stakeholders to to consider whether any other action is necessary to ensure that institutional investors get the information they need to make effective decisions.”Last month the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Advisory Board introduced a transparency code for asset managers, based on a model from the Netherlands and adapted by the board and Chris Sier, professor at Newcastle University Business School. Eight managers have so far signed up to the LGPS’ voluntary code.The FCA welcomed the development and other work in this area – including a similar disclosure method proposed by the Investment Association (IA). Speaking this morning, FCA director of strategy and competition Chris Woolard made it clear that the LGPS code was a pioneering model, followed by the IA, the trade body for UK asset managers.The FCA indicated that it did not want to convene stakeholders itself. Cost clarity for alternativesThe LGPS has not yet finalised its template for private equity and other illiquid strategies, but all responses to the FCA report said that private equity and hedge funds ought to be covered by the wider transparency code.The regulator said it would consider whether any of its proposed “remedies” should apply to private equity products.One of the asset managers already signed up to the LGPS’ transparency code, fixed income specialist Markham Rae, said it was happy for greater fee transparency to be applied to all kinds of vehicles. Kerry Duffain, head of distribution at the group, said that its own closed-end fund investing in trade finance was not covered by the LGPS code but the firm would work with any committee to ensure such deal-based vehicles were transparent.Other commentators warned that transparency, especially around transaction costs, was harder in practice than in theory. Colin Meech, national officer for the trade union Unison and one of the architects of the LGPS transparency code, said it was only when data started appearing on spreadsheets that the true extent of costs would become apparent. “There is a long way to go,” he warned.IPE reported yesterday that the LGPS is expecting its code to reveal investment costs across its 89 member schemes in excess of £1bn (€1.1bn) for 2017.Unison has demanded representation on the FCA’s working party on transparency. Other expected representatives will come from the IA, the British Venture Capital Association, and the Department for Work and Pensions. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is set to bring relevant stakeholders together to devise standardised templates for reporting costs and charges to all UK institutional investors.The regulator announced in its Asset Management Market Study, published this morning, that it would “ask an independent person to convene a group of relevant stakeholders together” to develop the templates.The FCA claimed the City of London would attract more international fund flows as a result of the greater competitiveness increased disclosure would engender.The templates developed by the working party should apply to both “mainstream and alternative asset classes”, the FCA said.last_img read more

first_imgDespite a slight correction in stock markets in June, Spain’s occupational pension funds exploited strong equity performance for the second quarter of 2017, according to the country’s Investment and Pension Fund Association (INVERCO).Spanish funds returned an average 4.8% for the 12 months to end-June 2017, compared with a 5.6% return for the 12 months to end-March 2017. In the 12 months to the end of June 2016 the funds lost an average 0.49%.The second quarter results bring the average annualised returns for Spanish occupational funds to 3.28% for the three years to 30 June 2017, and 5.68% for the five years to that date.Meanwhile, preliminary estimates from Mercer’s Pension Investment Performance Service (PIPS) showed that, for the six months to end-June, euro-zone equities made 5.7%, non-euro-zone equities added 4.7%, while fixed income lost 0.3%, giving an overall total return of 2%. In June, fixed income allocations lost 0.6% and euro-zone equities declined by 3%. Non-euro-zone equities lost 0.8%.For the 12 months to end-June, returns were 17.4% for euro-zone equities, 16.2% for non-euro-zone equities, and 1.2% for fixed income. The overall average return was 5.5%.The PIPS survey covered a large sample of pension funds, most of them occupational schemes.Xavier Bellavista, principal at Mercer, said: “The best performance was for both euro and non-euro equity investments, followed by alternatives, of which a significant part is invested in private equity, which is performing very well too.”Bellavista added: “Euro appreciation, especially versus the US dollar, is affecting the performance of non-euro fixed income, the only asset class with negative performance for the year to date. Non-euro equity is obviously also affected by the euro’s appreciation, but the strong performance of the underlying assets means the performance is still positive.”INVERCO’s figures showed that, for Spanish pension funds as a whole, the average allocation to domestic securities declined slightly over the second quarter, forming 56.4% of portfolios at end-June. This included fixed income and equity as well as 2.4% in “other investments” – real estate and alternatives.Non-domestic holdings also fell, to 28.1% at the same date. Cash holdings rose to 7.5%.Over the same three-month period, allocations to fixed income continued their gradual decline to an average 52.1%, while equities rose to 30%.Spanish government bonds still made up the biggest single component of pension fund portfolios at 26.5%, with a further 16.5% in domestic corporate bonds.At the end of June, total assets under management for the Spanish occupational pensions sector stood at €35.6bn, an increase of 1.9% over the past year. The number of participants in the occupational system was stable, at just over 2m.Bellavista said: “Most managers in Spain have been expecting a rise in interest rates, hence most of them are maintaining lower durations in their fixed income funds in comparison with their benchmarks. The average duration of fixed income investments in the pension funds is around 4.5 years, but including investments in cash, the duration of the overall portfolio reduces to 3.5. Since interest rates have already risen in the past six to 12 months, some managers are taking some short-term tactical decisions to increase duration.”last_img read more

first_imgA proposal for a new set of figures to be reported by Swiss Pensionskassen has been rejected by the Swiss government for cost reasons.Two years ago, consultancy PPCmetrics was commissioned by the Swiss government to look into the financial figures currently reported by Swiss Pensionskassen.It was to determine whether these figures gave an indication of the true economic situation of a pension fund and which indicators might make their reports more comparable.The final report by PPCmetrics has now been published (see link below), and includes a proposal for new key figures to be reported by the Pensionskassen. The suggestion was that these would allow the supervisory authorities to devise a traffic-light system to identify and monitor those pension funds whose financial sustainability is compromised. However, the government has decided it will not make any new set of key figures mandatory.“For the government it is questionable whether the profit of a unified model would justify the costs,” it said in a press release.Lukas Riesen, partner at PPCmetrics, thought it was question of political will more than costs.“The government has decided against increased transparency,” he told IPE.He added: “The basic information for the figures we proposed is already being calculated by the pension funds – it would have been a simplification to concentrate on a few meaningful figures.”In their report PPCmetrics found that many figures currently reported by the pension funds were not really helpful.Current standard indicators like the funding level do not take into account the technical parameters applied to calculate it or the ratio of active to retired members in a fund.Riesen does not think any supervisory body will go against the government’s position by prescribing the use of the proposed new set of key indicators. “But the economic reality will force many pension funds to look at their true financial status,” he said.According to him many pension funds and also some supervisory authorities that are “taking risk management seriously” are already calculating economically true funding levels and other amended benchmark figures.“Our set of key figures takes a longer-term look at the financial situation of a pension fund both from the perspective of a provider as well as that of an active member,” he explained.Under current regulations pension funds are free to report funding levels based on any parameters they choose, but an economically true valuation would mean they have to report a lower funding level.,Supporting documents Click link to download and view these files PPC Metrics Feasibility Study (with English language summary)PDF, Size 1.49 mblast_img read more

first_imgM&G Optimal Income FundM&G (Lux) Optimal Income Fund€22.6bn M&G European Corporate Bond FundM&G (Lux) European Corporate Bond Fund€1.65bn M&G Japan FundM&G (Lux) Japan Fund€168m M&G Asian FundM&G (Lux) Asian Fund€239m M&G Global Dividend FundM&G (Lux) Global Dividend Fund€2.8bn M&G Emerging Markets Bond FundM&G (Lux) Emerging Markets Bond Fund€676m M&G Global Emerging Markets FundM&G (Lux) Global Emerging Markets Fund€1bn Total AUM in non-sterling share classes transferring to M&G’s Luxembourg range: €39bn M&G Global High Yield Bond FundM&G (Lux) Global High Yield Bond Fund€63m Headquarters of Luxembourg’s financial regulator, CSSFM&G has proposed to transfer assets in euro, Swiss franc, US dollar and Singapore dollar share classes to equivalent funds in its Luxembourg range.The transfers would take the form of share class mergers, according to M&G.The Financial Conduct Authority and its counterpart in Luxembourg, Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, have been informed of the asset manager’s proposals.Formal notifications, including details on timings, will be sent to shareholders from September this year.A year ago M&G announced it was planning to transfer four funds for non-UK investors – worth €7bn – to Luxembourg because of Brexit.The fresh transfer plan is the latest in a series of Brexit-related announcements from UK-based asset managers. Columbia Threadneedle Investments last week said it planned to transfer assets from UK-domiciled funds to its Luxembourg range, accounting for roughly 2% of its global assets. Funds affected by M&G transfersSource: M&G InvestmentsNon-sterling share classes transferring from these UK-domiciled OEICs…… to these Luxembourg-domiciled SICAVs Assets under management M&G Global Floating Rate High Yield FundM&G (Lux) Global Floating Rate High Yield Fund€3.5bn M&G Pan European Select FundM&G (Lux) Pan European Select Fund€54m M&G Global Corporate Bond FundM&G (Lux) Global Corporate Bond Fund€13m M&G Investments is planning to transfer €39bn of client assets in UK-domiciled funds to Luxembourg ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU.The plan was aimed at protecting the interests of M&G’s customers outside the UK as the country negotiated its exit from the bloc, the asset manager said today in a statement.Anne Richards, chief executive of M&G, said: “Our priority is to minimise disruption for our investors by providing as much certainty as we can.“The proposals we have announced today aim to protect the interests of our non-UK customers by offering continued access to the current range of M&G Investments strategies, regardless of the final outcome of the negotiations between the UK and the European Union.” M&G Pan European Dividend FundM&G (Lux) Pan European Dividend Fund€108m M&G North American Value FundM&G (Lux) North American Value Fund€319m M&G Global Select FundM&G (Lux) Global Select Fund€110m M&G Global Macro Bond FundM&G (Lux) Global Macro Bond Fund€791m M&G Japan Smaller Companies FundM&G (Lux) Japan Smaller Companies Fund€170m M&G Episode Macro FundM&G (Lux) Episode Macro Fund€283m M&G European Strategic Value FundM&G (Lux) Euro Strategic Value Fund€2.7bn M&G North American Dividend FundM&G (Lux) North American Dividend Fund€164m The assets in question are the non-sterling share classes of 21 of the asset manager’s UK-domiciled open-ended funds (see below).The bulk of the assets relates to European investments in M&G flagship Optimal Income fund, which is one of the biggest investment vehicles in Europe. M&G said €22.6bn would move to Luxembourg. M&G Global Convertibles FundM&G (Lux) Global Convertibles Fund€1.3bn M&G Short Dated Corporate Bond FundM&G (Lux) Short Dated Corporate Bond Fund€110mlast_img read more

first_imgApr-18 Consultancy firm LCP, which advised the Littlewoods trustees, said the deal would help to improve the scheme’s funding position as well as helping to reduce its downside risks. PIC Marks & Spencer 450 The trustees of the Littlewoods Pensions Scheme (LPS) have sealed an £880m (€1bn) pensioner buy-in deal with Scottish Widows in the latest sign of an increasingly buoyant bulk annuity transfer market.Under the terms of the transfer, the risks associated with 60% of the scheme’s liabilities have passed to the Edinburgh-based life insurance and pension company, which will now provide a monthly income to the trustee on behalf of the fund’s approximately 7,000 members.The move represents Scottish Widows’ largest bulk annuity transfer to date. So far the insurer has completed 17 deals, accounting for more than 25,000 pension scheme members.Colin Thwaite, chairman of the trustees for the scheme, said: “The attractive pricing of the transaction has closed the gap to being fully funded and further reduces the risk profile of our investments to meet members’ pensions.” Buy-in Prudential Longevity swap May-18 Rothesay Life Aviva Sea Containers 1983 Scheme 150 May-18 Post Office Rothesay Life Feb-18 Unnamed scheme L&G Rothesay Life Toshiba Buy-in Buy-in Feb-18* Marks & Spencer 140 Feb-18* Mar-18 Buy-in Feb-18* Credit: Ben Sutherland Littlewoods was broken up in 2004 and is now part of Shop Direct“Our role as specialist adviser is to get the focus of insurers who are choosing where to allocate their best pricing,” said David Stewart, partner at LCP.  “The pricing negotiated surpassed the trustee’s original expectations and moves them significantly forwards towards full de-risking.”More than £19bn of bulk annuity transfer deals, longevity swaps, buy-ins, and buyouts have been struck so far this year, according to JLT Employee Benefits. The figure is fast approaching the total £21bn worth of transactions realised in 2017. A decade ago approximately £8bn was transferred, with the market peaking in 2014 at £34bn.This year’s tally was boosted significantly by Rothesay Life’s £12bn acquisition of part of Prudential annuity book in the first quarter.There has also been a series of transfers in excess of £1bn struck in the early months of 2018, including the £2bn National Grid Electricity Group longevity swap with Zurich and Canada Life Re; and the £1.4bn Marks and Spencer buy-in deal, which was split between Aviva and Phoenix.JLT said that the average transfer size had also risen since 2017. “Deals executed last year ranged from £100m-£900m, with no individual transaction exceeding £1bn,” the company said.“Current insurer pricing is providing an attractive entry point for schemes across the market, with improving funding levels and rising sponsor interest feeding trustee demand.”Transactions announced in 2018: Bulk annuity back book Kingfisher PIC National Grid Electricity Group PPF+ Feb-18 WPP (five schemes) Aviva Buyout 2,000 Source: JLT Employee Benefits* Although announced in February 2018, transactions marked with an asterisk traded in the second half of 2017 May-18 475 DateScheme / FirmInsurerSize (£m)Type of transaction 209 Zurich/Canada Life Re 12,000 170 925 Phoenix Buyout 190 PPF+last_img read more

first_img“Don’t let the fact that you can’t measure it or come up with KPIs straight away stop you from going down this path,” she said.The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) had a similar view, according to Eugene O’Callaghan, director of the €8.9bn sovereign development fund.“We try to do the right thing and then worry about how best to relay that and report that after we’ve done the right thing,” he said.The fund reports twice a year on its economic impact. According to O’Callaghan, the reporting had initially been “very factual, quant-based,” but recently ISIF had tried to develop more of a narrative, with “hard work numbers” appearing in the second half and appendices of the report. “So there is transparency, but ultimately the view on whether we’re adding value or not will come from whether people agree and accept the narrative we’re articulating,” said O’Callaghan.FRR ready to make its move Being able to convey the social or environmental impacts of investments in numbers is not the be-all and end-all of impact investing, asset owners told IPE’s annual conference last week.Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel Pension Partnership, said defining key performance indicators (KPIs) for impacts was a more straightforward process at the level of individual strategies than at an aggregate portfolio level.“Our clients are asking us to tell the story about the whole fund and I think ideally they’d love us to distil it into a few figures, but in reality that is not going to tell the story or bring it to life,” she said.It was more important to come to a qualitative judgement about whether an investment was having the desired impact, Ward suggested. Credit: Patrick FrostFRR’s Olivier Rousseau collects the Climate Related Risk Management award from Marie Dzanis, CEO of Northern Trust Global InvestmentsIn France, the €36.4bn Fonds de réserve pour les retraites (FRR) wanted to make a bigger commitment to impact-conscious investing , and in Dublin Olivier Rousseau, the sovereign fund’s executive director, told delegates it would be launching a request for proposals in the second quarter of 2019.The lead-up to this had been “more complicated” than the fund had anticipated, he said, because it was “absolutely vital” that it knew what it wanted and asked “the right questions”.“All the exchanges we’ve had with many potential asset managers have put us in a situation where we understand it’s not straightforward,” said Rousseau. “We are thinking of doing listed developed markets equities, but there are very different solutions and approaches and ways of measuring it.”However, investors had to be pragmatic and FRR had determined it would have “reasonable ways of measuring what can be achieved”.Rousseau said the meaning of responsible investment had evolved over time, meaning it was now possible to be more ambitious, because “the type of thing you can do gets measured better” and there was a real choice of investment solutions being offered by asset managers.A good Swedish emerging-market story Sweden’s Alecta has had a positive experience with impact investing so far, according to Peter Lööw, head of responsible investment at the SEK874bn (€84bn) occupational pension provider.Alecta moved into this area following “a lot of attention” from its stakeholders – including clients and the media – as well as internal pressure.One of Alecta’s two main impact investing “pockets” is a $200m (€176m) commitment to an emerging market loans fund run by NN Investment Partners in collaboration with the investment management arm of FMO, the Dutch development bank.The fund invests in loans to financial institutions, renewable energy projects and agribusiness companies in emerging and frontier markets.Lööw said the commitment followed a long but fruitful due diligence process and that the pension provider felt it was getting “true impact”.“There are lots of jobs being created, emissions being avoided and so forth,” he said. “We will continue looking at the fund because it will live on for 15 years.”The experience with the fund had taught Alecta that it could reach its required rate of return at the same time as pursuing non-financial impacts, according to Lööw.“The first question you asked was ‘is there a trade-off?’ and perhaps we had the idea that there was a trade-off, but we realised that no, there isn’t,” he told Sony Kapoor, managing director at think tank Re-Define and the panel moderator.The due diligence process had been a “very good journey” for Alecta, added Lööw.“It raised the interest regarding impact internally, so this is a very good story-telling exercise, both for ourselves and our clients,” he said.center_img Credit: Patrick FrostL-R: Sony Kapoor, Re-Define; Olivier Rousseau, FRR; Eugene O’Callaghan, ISIF; Faith Ward, Brunel; Peter Lööw, Alectalast_img read more

first_imgInterest among employers in the Pensionsfonds structure has increased in the wake of the introduction of the Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz (BRSG) reforms, which took effect at the start of last year and brought some changes to subsidies for smaller companies setting up pension plans.“The BRSG has given an unexpected boost to the subject,” said Heribert Karch, managing director of Metallrente. Additional tax advantages are granted for pension plans set up for lower earners, while employers have to pass on savings made from employees transferring part of their wages into pension plans.With 72,000 new members joining last year, Metallrente said it had achieved a “true surprise record”, as this marked an increase of almost 50% compared to 2017.The provider said products with lower guarantees and higher exposure to return-seeking assets were chosen more frequently now as they were “more attractive than classic guarantees”.Social partner co-operation yet to take offAnother feature of the BRSG law – which is so far still unused – is the ability for employers and employees to jointly negotiate the creation of new industry-wide pension funds.So far, Metallrente is one of the few occupational pension plans to have been set up as a result of co-operation between employers and employees. “Our results show that pension plans set up by social partners are seen as very trustworthy,” said Karch. He argued that collective pension funds set up by the social partners were the best form of retirement saving for solidarity between cohorts, as well as being “the most effective form”. Karch – who is also chairman of the German pension fund association aba – also called on politicians to do away with inequalities relating to taxes and social contributions that were still in force for some forms of occupational pension savings. German industry-wide pension fund Metallrente has lowered the interest it will grant on members’ assets in the insurance part of its multi-employer plan. Members in the metal and electrical industry scheme’s insurance-based plans with the highest guarantees have been granted an uplift of 3.45%, down from 3.65% last year. Average annualised performance of the Metallrente Pensionsfonds since inception in 2002 fell slightly last year to 5.2%, compared to 5.9% in 2016 when the figure was last reported.The Pensionsfonds is one of the products offered by Metallrente for companies to implement an occupational pension. last_img read more

first_imgAon’s Dutch business is planning a fresh attempt to transfer its own pension fund to its Belgium-based vehicle United Pensions, after a failed effort in 2014.However, it needs the approval of at least two thirds of its members and pensioners, following new rules brought in with the introduction of the EU pensions directive IORP II.In a letter to its 3,600 participants, the €767m Pensioenfonds Aon Groep Nederland and the employer said it was necessary to liquidate the scheme.Although the pension fund was healthy, it was also vulnerable because of relatively high costs and increasing difficulties finding new trustees, the letter said. Credit: Waldo MiguezThe Atomium in BrusselsAon and its pension fund said they had concluded that Aon’s Belgian multi-client scheme United Pensions offered the best opportunity, adding that it would be a better option than transferring the scheme to an insurer or general pension fund.They explained that, under Belgian rules, indexation would be possible earlier and the employer’s obligation to plug funding shortfalls – for pension promises with a guaranteed inflation link – would remain.René Mandos, the Aon scheme’s chairman, highlighted that benefit cuts would not be possible in the Belgian arrangements, which he added were “very good for the participants”.Although the pension fund, with a coverage ratio of 123%, had been able to grant full indexation under the Dutch FTK this year, this reflected merely a single year, Mandos said.“Long-term scenarios for Belgium looked better and would enable us to also pay the 7.5% indexation in arrears sooner,” he said.The members’ vote to approve the move is meant as an additional guarantee for cross-border transfers, as participants will become subject to a different supervisory regime.The condition was introduced when Aon moved another of its company schemes – the €40m pension fund of Hewitt – to Belgium last August. As a result of the transfer, its funding rose from 114% under the Dutch FTK to 125% under Belgian regulation.At the time, Pieter Omtzigt, MP for the Christian Democrats, argued that this amounted to “pure supervisory arbitrage”. His parliamentary questions contributed to social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees introducing the approval threshold.In 2017, Aon transferred four of its own Ireland-based pension schemes to United Pensions. Aon’s initial effort to migrate its pension fund to Belgium in 2014 led to a media storm. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, then the Netherlands’ finance minister, voiced concerns about schemes “dodging” the Dutch financial assessment framework (FTK) through the Belgium route.Subsequently, the company’s works council raised questions about the Belgian assessment framework as well as how much say members would have over their pensions if transferred to Belgium.The council also launched – and ultimately lost – a court case concerning whether the employer would be allowed to cease its obligation to fill funding gaps under the Dutch contract for pensions provision.In a “reset” in 2016, a working group under Marc van Nuland, Aon’s chief executive, had started looking at all options again.Better in Belgium?last_img read more