Dutch Pension Plans to Merge, Creating a $23.4 Billion Fund

Push to join two public transit retirement programs fell through in 2016, but SPF recently restarted discussions.

Looks like Dutch transportation pension funds SPF and SPOV will be merging after all.

The two plans have agreed to consolidate their assets under management into a $23.4 billion plan, IPE reports. SPF covers railway pensioners and SPOV handles the retirement assets of public transportation workers.

Both funds had talked about merging in 2016, but negotiations collapsed after they decided there wouldn’t be sufficient benefits for them to meet their obligations.

Recently, SPF restarted discussions, arguing that a joint operation now would be cheaper to run, improve on board continuity, and open more options for innovative products and services.

SPOV, the smaller fund (at $3.7 billion), was also worried about losing its identity and questioned the quality of SPF Beheer, the shared asset manager of the two Dutch funds. SPOV also said it needed to keep costs down if it wanted to grow as fees were limiting its implementation of pension agreements.

The new fund would be responsible for more than 100,000 members. They both plan to integrate SPF Beheer into the new organization as well.

Final decisions are expected to be made sometime in the fall. Both plans are overfunded, at 115.1% (SPF) and 109.1% (SPOV).

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