Stichting Algemeen Mijnwerkersfonds van de Steenkolenmijnen in Limburg, Heerlen, Netherlands, has transferred the pensions of 28,000 participants to insurer Aegon.
In a news release Monday, the pension fund for Dutch mineworkers, known as AMF, said the pension buyout deal is the biggest in the Netherlands to date. According to the 2013 annual report, the fund had €816 million ($1.1 billion) of invested assets.
Executives at the fund are “taking this course of action because our membership levels are steadily declining.” The news release said the government also requires higher financial buffers for pension funds, while supervisory authorities are “tightening requirements related to pension funds.”
The cost of managing the fund, therefore, is increased “while our assets are decreasing because we need to pay out pension benefits,” according to the release.
As part of the agreement, AMF said it secured an increase of more than 8% to participants’ pensions, effective January 2015. Participants will not be eligible for future increases.
Administration of the fund will remain with provider AZL for at least eight years, according to a letter sent to retirees and former participant.
The agreement is subject to approval by the Dutch financial regulator, De Nederlandsche Bank. Following approval, AMF will no longer exist.
Spokesmen for AMF and Aegon could not be reached for comment by press time.