What happens in the case of a deficit?
It can always occur that, despite all the precautions taken, the Heineken Pension Fund still has inadequate funding to be able to pay out all pensions in the long term. Something then has to be done. The pension provider’s task is to consider the best solution as meticulously as possible: either to increase the contributions (if possible) or not grant compensation.
The Board can also choose a combination of measures or make alternative choices. At the very worst, the Heineken Pension Fund can decide to cut back pensions.The Heineken Pension Fund has not cut back pensions over the past few years. However, it will need to do so should one of the following situations arise:
Less pension if the policy funding ratio drops below the Minimum Statutory Funding Requirement (MVEV)
In the event of a funding deficit whereby the policy funding ratio is below the Minimum Statutory Funding Requirement (approx. 104%),over a period of five years, the pension fund will basically lower pension entitlements and pension rights directly by a maximum of 5%. If the necessary cut backs exceed 5% then the surplus will be spread over the year or years thereafter at a maximum of 5% per year. If the necessary cut back is higher than 25% then the cut back will be spread over a period of five years and the reduction percentage may be above 5%.
Less pension if the policy funding ratio drops below the Statutory Funding Requirement (VEV)
In the event of a shortfall, whereby the policy funding ratio falls below the Statutory Funding Requirement (approx. 124%), then a recovery period of ten years is observed in order to spread any potential cut backs over a maximum recovery period of ten years. If the VEV can no longer be achieved within ten years, then the pension fund will have to cut back on pension payments. These cut backs will be spread over a period of ten years.
The current HPF policy funding ratio is lower than the VEV. The HPF has therefore submitted a recovery plan. In that recovery plan the fund explains how it will make up this shortfall within ten years at most. If the interest rate does not rise, then it is likely that we shall need to cut back on pension payments in the future. If there is any question of a cut back in the short term, then it will basically be spread over a ten-year period. A decision to cut back pensions will be taken on the basis of the policy funding ratio on 30 September of the year concerned. The next review as to whether it will be necessary to cut back pensions will be made in January 2021 based on the policy funding ratio on 30 September 2020.
For the time being it does not seem that it will be necessary to cut back pension payments as of 1 January 2021. If the financial situation of the HPF worsens substantially over the next few months and a cut back may become necessary, then it goes without saying that you will be informed as soon as possible.