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Shell Dutch Pension Fund Falls Below Legal Reserve Ratio

More pension funds in trouble

Friday 12 December 2008

Shell’s Dutch pension fund has fallen below the legal reserve ratio of 105% to 85%, the Telegraaf reports on Friday, quoting BNR radio. The claim is based on a letter to Shell employees, the radio station said.

A reserve ratio of 100% means the fund has sufficient assets to meet all its pension obligations.

The Shell pension fund regulation includes an agreement that if its reserves are below 105% for six months, the company must shore up its assets. Some staff also face higher premiums next year, the paper says.

The Financieele Dagblad reports that health service pension fund PFZW, formerly PGGM, has also fallen below the legal limit, with a reserve ratio of 96% at the end of November.

PFZW says the worsening of its reserves is due to falling share prices and the sharp decrease in long-term interest rates.

Earlier this week, the corporate pension fund association said half of the country’s top 10 company pension schemes no longer meet the 105% condition.

Civil service pension fund ABP, one of the biggest in the world with assets of over €200bn, told Dow Jones that it would probably not make its coverage ratio public because that was not in the interests of its long-term investment strategy.



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