Blog: Corona and the pension fund part 2

17 December 2020 | Blog

In our previous blog, we informed you about the consequences of developments on the stock exchanges for the financial situation of the pension fund. We have also indicated how the pension fund can be reached after the national corona measures have been implemented. In this blog we want to inform you about the latest developments.

Decrease of funding ratio due to corona

The funding level at the end of March has been posted on the website. The current funding ratio (end 2019: 107.3%) was only 91% at the end of March. We are approaching the so-called critical funding ratio, although we are not yet under it. This is the limit, from which we can just argue that the fund can recover sufficiently within ten years. Restoring means that the pension fund will have the required Statutory Funding Requirement (VEV) within ten years. If we are unable to do this, cutback is required. The critical funding ratio was around 87% at the end of last year.

Is a reduction of pensions an issue?

Does this mean that we have to reduce pensions? At least not in the short term. The first moment at which the critical funding ratio will be re-determined and will be determined if the fund meets the critical funding ratio is at the end of December. The stock exchanges and also the politics can move in all directions in the coming months. It is therefore too early to anticipate on the situation at the end of December.

What do we do with our investments?

Pension funds are long-term investors. We must be able to fulfill our obligations not only this year and next year, but also in 50 years’ of time. Our investment policy is based on this. We are not here to make quick profits, but to pay out retirement, which is why we have a duty and time to spread our risks no matter what we do in our portfolio. In the past few weeks, we have of course examined with the experts in the investment committee whether the investment policy requires adjustment in the current situation. In doing so, we have come to the conclusion that it is best to stick to all the main features of our policy.

The pension fund works at home, but the work continues as usual

The pension fund has been working at home since the start of the corona measures. Consultation of employees, as well as meetings of the board, the accountability body and the supervisory board, continue as usual, but from behind a laptop at home. Some actions can really only be done in the office and for this a single employee comes to the office. The proper implementation of the pension scheme therefore remains assured. All pensions of April are paid on time.

In the news a message has appeared, from which it could be concluded that pension funds do not pay a survivor’s pension if a participant dies from the consequences of corona. This is not the case at the Heineken Pension Fund.

Accessibility of the pension fund

All employees of the pension fund work from home. It is therefore not possible to visit the HPF at the office. The best way to reach the pension fund in the near future is also by e-mail (pensioenfonds@heineken.nl).

The Heineken Pension Fund

 

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