Frequently asked questions about the future of the pension fund

  • Since 2014, the Future Committee has been actively involved in the issues concerning the future of the pension fund and advising the Board on how they can be addressed.The developments surrounding the new pension agreement are also included in these recommendations.

     

  • The relevant risks that could affect the vulnerability of the pension fund have been translated into a – so-called – vulnerability matrix. The Future Committee and the Board uses the vulnerability matrix to evaluate regularly whether the best solution for all stakeholders is to continue as an independent pension fund and/or whether another form needs to be chosen.

  • In the fact sheet, DNB cites examples relating to:

    • Qualified people for government and other organs
    • Cost provision for paying the administrative costs
    • Investment risks that are not appropriate to the changing liabilities
    • Prospect of (future) options for a transfer
    • Capacity to address actuarial risks independantly
    • Communication with participants
    • Balance between the management environment and the complexity of the investment portfolio
  • Until now, continuing as an independent pension fund has proven to be the best option, compared to, for example, a transition to an industry-wide pension fund, a General Pension Fund (APF) or an insurer. This was still the Board's conclusion in 2020. This may change in the coming years. The new pension system is an important factor in this, partly because a transition to the new system may lead to additional costs. If the Lower House and the Upper House agree to the bill for the Future Pensions Act, the new rules are expected to take effect as of January 1, 2023. Subsequently, time will be needed to implement the changes. The deadline for this is January 1, 2027. During this period we will, of course, continue to keep you informed.

  • If circumstances change in the future, this could mean that the pension fund terminates its activities and that the accrued pensions are transferred to for exmaple an industry-wide pension fund, a general pension fund or an insurer. A combination would also be possible in principle. Cooperation with other funds in a general pension fund is also an option. The Pension Law provides the decision-making process to be carried out and the procedure to be followed. DNB supervises this.

  • Not at this moment. It is true that the Pension Fund capital is adequate for purchasing the accrued pensions from an insurer, however, this would mean there would be virtually no funds left for future indexation. By continuing the Pension Fund, there is a realistic chance that the pensions can benefit from (much) more indexation.

  • The fact that no further contributions came in since 2018 has had little influence on the financial position. Due to the small number of active participants and the policy regarding contributions, the impact of the contributions paid was already minimal on the financial development of the fund. The disappearance of contributions practically didn't change anything in the financial situation of the fund. However, the administrative costs will have to be kept firmly under control in the years after 2020. The employer pays for the Guarantee Scheme including administration costs and a solvency surcharge.

  • It is expected that a closed fund studies the future of the pension fund, which involved investigating alternatives for the future existence of the pension fund. And that such a study is repeated regularly. With regard to this it is important to investigate how long it remains opportune to allow the pension fund to continue to exist, whereby a balanced consideration of interests is made and the specific risks for a closed fund are taken into account. Continuation of the pension fund is currently the most optimum solution, specifically due to the supplement potential.If the financial position of the fund changes and/or there are better alternatives in the market it will of course be possible to examine an alternative arrangement, such as an industry-wide pension fund, a general pension fund or an insurer.

  • The pension fund is an independent entity. Staples shareholders have no access to the funds managed by the fund.

  • If the Pension Fund ceases to exist, the pensions accrued with the Pension Fund have to be transferred to a different pension administrator. That can be a different pension fund or an insurer. The decision-making process and the transfer procedure to be followed are stipulated in the Netherlands Pensions Act (Pensioenwet), which is regulated by the DNB.

     

  • Absolutely. The executive board of the foundations has set realistic requirements and the employer has agreed to them.

  • For the time being the Board of Trustees is of the opinion that the Fund can continue in its current form until around 2025. If reasons arise whereby transfer or collaboration is required sooner, the Board of Trustees will keep all stakeholders informed and notify all of the steps that are necessary, including consultation with participants (as stipulated by DNB) when major steps are required. All developments surrounding the new pension agreement are also included in the considerations.

  • On the contact page you will find the various ways in which you can contact us. We’ll be pleased to help. To stay up to date with the latest developments, please also subscribe to the Funds’ newsletter.