The pension fund of Aon Group Netherlands is considering placing its pensions in a Belgian IORP, it has indicated. In a letter to its participants, dated mid-April, it explained that Aon had finished its contract for pensions provision with its pension fund, and transferred the pension accrual to a defined contribution plan with an insurer.For the accrued pension rights under average and final salary plans, “a liquidation of our pension fund, including a collective value transfer, is the most realistic scenario”, the scheme said in its letter.According to the pension fund, the employer has made clear it would prefer a transfer to an IORP in Belgium. “This alternative is included in our investigation, as it seems to offer benefits to all parties involved,” it said.The IORP could also house pension rights from Aon staff in Belgium and possibly other European countries.Speaking to financial daily FD, René Mandos, chairman of the Aon scheme, said it had already concluded that the Belgian option was the most beneficial for the scheme’s participants.“The financial requirements in Belgium are different, resulting in less risk of a funding shortfall,” Mandos said, adding that the likelihood of indexation would also be greater than placing the pension rights with a Dutch insurer.In his opinion, the pensions would be properly secured in Belgium, as the employer must plug a funding shortfall.According to the chairman, no decisions have been taken, nor has the company filed for value transfer.However, there are discussions with both the Dutch supervisor DNB and the regulator in Belgium, he said.A decision is due before 1 July.Although moving to Belgium has been discussed by Dutch pension funds since 2007, relatively few employers have developed concrete plans to date.In 2011, the tiny Pensioenfonds Lugtigheid moved south, followed by the pension funds of clearinghouse Euroclear and contact lens manufacturer Alcon.The pension fund of pharmacy Johnson & Johnson is developing plans to do so.However, according to Andrew Davies of pensions adviser Towers Watson, at least 10 Dutch pension funds, including two €1bn schemes, are gearing up for similar moves due to increasing regulatory pressure in the Netherlands.Cost is also a contributing factor, due to Belgium’s VAT exemption, as well as lower supervisory costs. Meanwhile, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch Treasurer, has criticised any move by a pension fund to avoid Dutch supervision and regulation “irresponsible”.“If this is the reason, it seems to me this will make the schemes’ participants very vulnerable,” he said.
Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Three minutes into overtime, Syracuse found itself in a familiar position as it was against American last week. Midfielder Nick Roydhouse had control of the ball and a chance to give SU another overtime win. Last weekend, his free kick propelled the Orange to an overtime win against American.This time, Roydhouse sent a strike toward the goal that was SU’s chance for a signature win over No. 16 New Mexico. But the ball hit the crossbar.New Mexico scored three minutes later to hand SU its second straight loss.‘We played against a really good team,’ SU head coach Ian McIntyre said in a phone interview. ‘I think individually and collectively we defended very well and hung in there and had a couple chances to win the game. Unfortunately, in overtime they found a way to finish it off.’With the loss, the Orange (2-4, 0-0 Big East) returns home after dropping both games in the University of Akron Tournament. The back-to-back 2-1 losses — the first on Friday against Cal Poly and the latest on Sunday against New Mexico — provided the Orange with two tough matches against quality teams. SU didn’t win, but they were games that McIntyre feels will help his team prepare for upcoming Big East play.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMcIntyre has confidence his team will be ready after it nearly beat an undefeated New Mexico team that tied defending national champion Akron in the same tournament.‘This is a perfect way, and not perfect in the way that we came home with two losses, but a very good way to prepare us for the biggest part of our season,’ McIntyre said. ‘There’s a lot of young guys, and this was a good test. New Mexico is one of the elite programs and today we fought very hard.’In what has seemingly become a trend for the Orange defense this season, a freshman defender provided the SU offensive with a goal. This time it was Jordan Murrell, whose game-tying goal against the Lobos made it possible for SU to make it to overtime against New Mexico.Murrell got a nice feed from fellow freshman defender Chris Makowski and tied the score late in the game. Although the goal was made meaningless by the final result, the experience the freshmen defenders are picking up will continue to be key once SU faces tough conference opponents.‘We have a lot of young guys getting very important minutes and experience playing against a frontline of the attacking players of Cal Poly and New Mexico,’ McIntyre said. ‘It is certainly making our young guys grow up very quickly, and I think our young guys rose to the challenge this weekend.’In terms of wins and losses, the Orange still came out of this weekend on the wrong end. It held its own, but a loss is a loss. Although SU hasn’t been blown out this season, each of its losses has been decided by one goal.It makes developing a better offensive output even more important. If Roydhouse’s shot had gone in, SU would have come home with a .500 weekend record. But it didn’t, and his miss highlights Syracuse’s ongoing struggles to score not just in Akron, but during the whole 2011 season.Still, SU’s ability to score at least one goal is an improvement over last season, when it went scoreless in more than half of its games. In six games this year, SU has scored at least one goal five times.‘There’s a very thin line between winning and losing at this level,’ McIntyre said. ‘Yes, it’s been tight, but we’ve really learned a lot from these last couple games. I think playing against Cal Poly and New Mexico, we realized we’ve got a pretty decent team.’[email protected] Published on September 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Rachel: [email protected]