Rein Godding reflects and looks ahead
The director of your pension fund, Rein Godding, looks back on high inflation, increased interest rates and the agreements made on contribution and accrual rates in 2022. He also takes a look ahead to the introduction of the new pension system and preparations to that end. Plus, to developments around the Socially Responsible Investment policy.
The year 2022 was largely dominated by high inflation and increased interest rates.
In 2022, financial markets revealed a less than positive picture.The war in Ukraine was a key driver of high uncertainty in the markets and increased energy costs. In addition, we are facing historically high inflation. As long-term interest rates have soared, the policy coverage ratio increased substantially. This has increased since the beginning of this year from 126.5% to 142.6% at the end of November, which in turn is important for determining the amount of indexation to be awarded. The pension fund board will decide on this in January 2023.
Agreements reached on premium and accrual rateOver the past year, the employer and works council reached a new premium agreement for the period 2023 and 2024.The new premium is 31% of pensionable earnings, including an employee contribution of 6%. Whether this contribution is also sufficient to maintain the accrual rate of 1.738% in 2023 depends on the interest rate level at the end of this year. If the premium is not sufficient, we have to reduce the accrual rate. If the premium is more than sufficient, the surplus accrues to the premium deposit, which can later be used again for pension accrual of assets. By mid-January, we will communicate the final accrual rate.
More information on the CDC scheme can be found here: Basic scheme.
New Pension Scheme preparations in full swingThe employer and the Works Council are in consultation with the pension fund on the impact of the new pension scheme.Although there is still uncertainty about the exact content of the legislation and we are not even sure if it will actually pass, we are nevertheless preparing for a transition to the new scheme, with a target effective date of 1 January 2025. We will post the main timelines of the project schedule in the first quarter of 2023 on the dedicated landing page on our website: New Pension Scheme.
I fully understand the uncertainty among participants. I am occasionally asked, especially by pensioners, what it means when current pension entitlements are converted to a pension capital in the new scheme (we call this ‘folding in’). At this point, I cannot give an accurate answer to that. I can, however, indicate that decision-making will involve great care and great participation of all parties involved. Both active members and pensioners have seats on the accountability council, which will have a weighted advisory right. The pensioners’ association has a so-called right to be heard and ultimately DNB will also have to assent. The pension fund board (in which employer, employees and pensioners are represented) promotes the interests of all members and will take its decisions in a well-balanced manner. The Pension Federation recently posted an interesting column on folding-in: Column: Adequate checks and balances when folding in (pensioenfederatie.nl) (IN DUTCH)
MVB (Socially Responsible Investment, SRI)One would almost forget that the pension fund also dealt with asset management, pension administration, participant communication, risk management and so much more.In the 2022 annual report, you will soon be able to read about it in detail. However, I would like to highlight our Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) policy. In 2022, the pension fund board formulated sustainability ambitions, partly based on the participant survey conducted in 2021. Thus, we have the ambition to act in line with the net zero ambition of our sponsor Robeco. We aim to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 in our investment portfolio. We also have the ambition to be classified as SFDR 8 from 2023. You can read more about it on our website (‘SRI Policy – Pension Fund Robeco’).
Director of the Robeco Pension Fund Foundation