Administration
Close

Navigate quickly through this series:

Close

Share this series:

Administration

Clarity, transparency, and information are what we aim for in our working methods. And in all our communications. To find out how we go about that, read more here.

Theme
Innovation
Collection Contents
18 Publications

“Now that I know you people, I don’t think of pensions as boring at all anymore”

Published on: 11 June 2021

Imagine: you are 14 years old and get the opportunity to take the reins at APG for half a day. Chayma Charafi, a student at Sintermeertencollege in Heerlen, seized that opportunity with both hands. As part of the national initiative “Tomorrow’s Boss”, Growth Factory “boss” Anne-Marie Le Doux handed over her chair to Chayma. Virtually, that is. But it didn’t make the day any less special. And instructive, for APG too. “We can seriously learn a lot from how young people view pensions.”

 

“Now that I’ve gotten to know a few of the people that work here, I no longer think of pensions as boring,” Chayma exclaims enthusiastically at the end of the morning program. A nice by-product of the assignment that morning: finding an answer to the question of how APG can make the learning programs on complex issues such as pensions and investments more attractive to young employees. Anne-Marie Le Doux and some other coworkers are helping Chayma this morning to make her temporary new role as memorable as possible.

 

More images, less text

“I expect to learn a lot today and am looking forward to it,” Chayma posted on APG’s Facebook and Linkedin account in the morning. And that mission seems to have succeeded. In fact, Chayma is also teaching APG a lot. In her presentation, she comes up with a number of apt recommendations to better reach young APG employees. “Use more images and less text. I’m seeing this in the teaching materials at our school, too. We enjoy watching interesting videos with a good storyline much more than having to read a long, boring piece of text.” This is a big eye-opener for the people Chayma hangs out with that morning. Anne-Marie: “That really is today’s theme: if you make learning fun, it also gets absorbed better. At APG we are sometimes inclined to take our work far too seriously. And that is reflected in the way we communicate about it or provide information. Chayma makes us realize that it is not effective to make things too heavy. Because in learning programs for young employees, they just don’t even absorb that.”

Colleagues in videos

Other recommendations from the student? “Make more use of social media to refer to interesting information or channels. It’s really not a bad thing if it’s not all created by APG itself, but I do think it’s a good idea to have employees who have a lot of knowledge about pensions and investing tell you about it in videos.” Birte van Ouwerkerk, who helped with the presentation, notes that Chayma’s generation thinks much more in images. “We still need to create that image in our minds, whereas young people, they just get it right away. That’s very valuable.” 

 

Impressed

As Chayma talks, you can see the people she worked with smile. Raban van Deursen: “We can seriously learn a lot by looking at our work through the eyes of a 14-year-old. When we asked Chayma how young people would look at retirement, her immediate response was: have you asked them yourself?” Ronald van Hengel was also impressed by the young boss’ analyses that morning: “Young people really have a different outlook. Sharper even. And that keeps us alert. I’m impressed by how quickly she understood the ‘problem’ and went to work on it.”

Get to work

Tomorrow’s Boss is an initiative by JINC for schoolchildren from disadvantaged neighborhoods who could use a helping hand to get a fair(er) chance on the labor market. According to Anne-Marie, Chayma doesn’t really need that support: “I met Chayma a few times before and got to know her as a super enterprising type. She just gets to work and gets things done! We adults can also learn something from that.”

Being educational is great, of course, but what is the real point of Tomorrow’s Boss? Being the boss of course! Did you enjoy that? “I think it worked out quite well to be in charge. I was able to come up with my own ideas and also implement them,” Chayma says. When asked if she will be working at APG soon? “Who knows. Someday.”

Right now, the focus is on the things that really matter to a teenager: taking pictures, playing sports and having dinner with girlfriends. Right you are, Chayma.

Volgende publicatie:
Politicians are not sufficiently aware of the feasibility of the new pension system

Politicians are not sufficiently aware of the feasibility of the new pension system

Published on: 6 May 2021

Examples of implementation problems in government organizations are there for the taking. Nevertheless, political The Hague is currently not paying attention to the lessons learned from this. According to APG policymaker Johan Barnard, this is worrying, because we are on the eve of the introduction of a completely new pension system. If the bill for this is postponed, according to Barnard, the extra time must therefore be spent on the comprehensibility, explainability and feasibility of our new pension system.

 

The House of Representatives has a blind spot for the implementation of government policy. Because parliament is not always fully and timely informed, but also because the House has too little interest in implementation. Moreover, the House of Representatives and the government have neglected implementation for years. Here are two important conclusions from the report "Klem tussen balie en beleid" (Stuck between desk and policy), about the extensive, regularly occurring implementation problems in the government.

 

It is a relevant report because it draws lessons from a wide range of cases where things went wrong, including the allowance case (Toeslagenaffaire). But anyone who expected a substantive discussion about causes and solutions to dominate politics in recent weeks was disappointed. Because despite the efforts of informateur Tjeenk Willink (who investigates whether a proposed government formation will succeed), political attention is mainly focused on the question of who should be held responsible for what. Read: who should be removed from politics.

 

This lack of substantive discussion is all the more poignant because since the publication of "Klem tussen balie en beleid", we've seen one signal after another about new impending implementation problems - even in recent weeks. On April 12, procurator general Rinus Otte noted in an interview in Trouw that the Public Prosecution Service and the judiciary are not given enough time to introduce a reinforcement of the victim's position in criminal proceedings. According to Otten, the reinforcement was not well thought out. In the NRC of 20 April, chairman Maarten Camps said "that the UWV can do without plans from The Hague for now". He prefers to talk first about how the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) can attract enough insurance doctors. The new Environmental Act will be introduced on January 1, 2022. At least, that's the plan. The four big cities have written an urgent letter about the unfeasibility of that date - on April 25, FD reported  that only 9 of the 352 municipalities had their ICT organized. And according to the Court of Audit, the AIVD (General Intelligence and Security Service) and MIVD (Military Intelligence and Security Service) spend so much time on the implementation and requirements of the new "Intelligence and Security Services Act 2017" that their intelligence position is under pressure. 

 

The Council of State has established that the necessity of new laws is not sufficiently demonstrated and that they are insufficiently tested for feasibility and 'practicability' for citizens and government organizations. Thom de Graaf, Arno Visser and Reinier van Zutphen, (vice-president of the Council of State, president of the Court of Audit and the national ombudsman respectively) also collectively shared their concerns about the implementation quality of the government policy (Buitenhof, 25 April). There they let it be known that responsibility for this also lies with parliament.

 

You may see the storm building. Because is there enough attention for implementation and practicability when it comes to pensions? The first signs are not very encouraging. On January 12 last, the bill "Lump sum, Early Retirement Scheme (RVU) and leave savings" was passed. But the introduction of the part that should make a pension payment of 10% of the pension assets possible at once (Lump sum) was immediately postponed until 2023. First, they have to investigate whether the implementation can be organized in a less complex way.

 

And then there's the introduction of a completely new pension system. That transition is many times more complex. The judgment of the Dutch Advisory Board on Regulatory Burden was quite harsh: "don't submit it, unless the points for advice are taken into account". According to the Advisory Board, the bill has not been described clearly enough, which means that it is difficult to assess whether additional implementation costs (in a financial sense) are justified. The Advisory Board also raises the question of whether the new system is easier to explain. And to see whether participants will be able to cope with the new system, it demands a 'capacity test'.

 

The Hague has recently been talking about the need for a new political culture of "power and countervailing power". We expect comprehensible, explainable and certainly enforceable legislation from a new government that wants to make serious work of that culture. Some expect the bill for the new pension system to be postponed. In that case, in the interest of the participants, the extra time should mainly be spent on those aspects of comprehensibility, explainability and feasibility. I'm not convinced that politicians are currently paying enough attention to this.

 

Could it be a coincidence that none of the seven members of the parliamentary committee of inquiry for implementing organizations has returned to the House?

Volgende publicatie:
“Stan sees little windows, while we are watching all the doors”

“Stan sees little windows, while we are watching all the doors”

Published on: 9 April 2021

Group IT Officer Frans van Kessel and ethical hacker Stan Hegt about cyber security at APG

 

Cybercrime: in 2021, you cannot get around it, especially as an organization with a lot of loot. And that applies to a pension administrator like APG too, of course. How do we protect 568 billion Euros worth of assets? How do we protect desirable and sensitive information? One way is to have the systems attacked by hackers on a regular basis. Ethical hackers, that is. A conversation with Group IT Officer Frans van Kessel and ethical hacker Stan Hegt about honey pots, the kill chain and simulating hacks. “We get to prepare for a real-life hack for months. For us, these kinds of assignment are the cherry on the cake.”

 

When APG systems are visited by hackers, no one in the organization knows if it is being done by malicious intruders or if it is a simulation – except for a handful of people, including Frans van Kessel, who is responsible for APG’s cyber security. Everything is done to make an exercise like that seem as real as possible. And in a sense, it is a real hack, which has been extensively prepared for a long time and executed by a team of ethical hackers, also called white hat hackers. Whizz kids who have made it their profession to try to infiltrate into the systems of companies and governments. Their goal is to help these organizations to keep their IT security intact or bring it up to snuff.

 

Stan Hegt from the IT security company Outflank is such an ethical hacker. Van Kessel hired him specifically to put APG’s IT security to the test. “Our people look at the cyber security primarily from a defensive perspective at APG. But hackers use an offensive perspective. They are always thinking along the lines of: what is the easiest way for me to get to the most interesting parts of the system? Someone from outside sees very different openings than we do. People like Stan and his team bring that perspective to the table. Stan sees all kinds of little windows while we are watching all the doors.”

 

Information services

In collaboration with the team from Outflank, Van Kessel and Hegt prepare a hack like that meticulously. It starts with mapping out the parties to whom APG could be an attractive target. Van Kessel: “We don’t just let a team of ethical hackers fire a load of buckshot into our systems. We try to get them to work in as focused a way as possible. First, we look at what kind of actors we might have to deal with. Then we map out which ‘crown jewels’ those parties might be interested in and what tactics, techniques and procedures they would use to get in. For foreign military information services, the participants’ files for defense could be very useful, for example. Information that shows certain investment flows could also be an interesting target for a foreign power.

With other actors, you expect more interest in access to the part of the system used to make payments. APG invests hundreds of billions for its clients. There are always parties that are interested in a big financial like that, including geopolitical interest.  Certain kinds of intellectual property – for example about the organization of the Dutch pension system – and models could be very valuable for a country like China. All in all, we are therefore dealing with a very diverse threat assessment. Based on that assessment, we map out the most likely targets. We then ask Stan and his team to focus on attacking there.”   

 

Once everything is prepared and the attack is ready to take place, Van Kessel takes a step back and Hegt goes to work. With a group, very consciously. Hegt: “The most dangerous hackers are always part of a team. They are strongest when they work together. The hacker sitting alone in a room in the attic is more of a TV cliché.”

 

What kind of hackers present the biggest threat? Hegt: “The last few years, the groups that have been the most dangerous are the ones that are active with ransomware. The best known of these is TA505, a hacker group from Russian-speaking countries. This group was also behind the attack on the Maastricht University.”

Kill chain
When it comes to the modus operandi of a hacker, you can distinguish several standard phases, Hegt explains. “A hacker works with the so-called cyber kill chain: reconnaissance, weaponization, delivery, exploitation, installation, command and control, and actions on objective. So, the first step is exploration: what are the possibilities for entering a system? Who works at the organization, who could be interesting to use for access? Then, a hacker will try to enter in one spot. For example, through a recruiter’s workplace, or through a server that is not well-protected. This is usually done with the help of malware. The third step is then to find a way to the crown jewels, for example, access to the system for making payments. That path is kind of a maze for the hacker. There are many ways to find a path. You could look for weak password of employees, for example. The last step is to carry out the actions on the crown jewels: a malicious payment by the system, or sending certain information in a way that leave those actions unnoticed.”

Honeypots

If a relatively large organization like APG only protects itself from cyber attacks from the outside, that is not enough, Van Kessel says. “It is no longer possible to prevent everything; there are always some employees that could be causing weak spot in your defense. Your inner world is a continuous point of attention. You must always assume that a hacker can get in. That is why we also focus a lot on detection and response. For us, the trick is to detect an attack as soon as possible. We do this by placing honeypots in certain places in the system – these are a kind of boobytrap the hacker steps in the moment he enters our network. That work is at least as creative as the hacker’s work. When we get undesired company, we investigate the threat and then move into containment and eradication: preventing the threat from spreading and completely removing the threat.”    

 

Hackers: what types of people should we imagine these are?  Hegt: “You have to be a real “professional idiot” and continually keep up to date. They are mostly relatively young men; you don’t see a lot of them that are over 50. The average is below 35, I think. And you can’t say that there are no successful hackers that are not educated, but many of them are highly educated. There is a lot of demand for them.” Van Kessel: “Even on the dark web you will run into these types of hackers; they present themselves with all kinds of certifications.”

 

Hegt himself, who studied math and computer science at the Eindhoven University of Technology is a “professional idiot” like that himself. “I’ve been hacking since I was ten years old and when I was fifteen, I started to hack by request of companies. Then I worked for KPMG for ten years. I did not expect this from a company like that, but it turned out that a very cool hackers’ club was working there. Five years ago, I got the opportunity to found Outflank with a few Dutch top hackers.”

 

Money laundering

Even though they may often be relatively young men, hackers are certainly not a homogenous group. Hegt: “There are a lot of cyber attack specialists. Invading a system is very different than finding a way to the crown jewels, once you’re in. And there are also hackers that are dedicated to laundering money. That is its own specialty.”

 

By having systems attacked on a regular basis in a way that, for most people involved, is not distinguishable from a real malicious cyber attack, APG is increasing its immunity. Hegt: “We also call that the vaccine effect. A test is like giving an injection, after which the body has an immune response. That is why it is so important that people don’t know that it is a test. They need to get defensive. We therefore only inform parties that could sound the alarm in advance, such as Microsoft. We get to prepare for a real-life test for months. That is great for us, but also for the APG employees that work on detection and monitoring. For us, these kinds of assignments are the cherry on the cake.”

Volgende publicatie:
“Eyes on the ball and do what we have agreed on”

“Eyes on the ball and do what we have agreed on”

Published on: 1 April 2021

How do you survive as a pension administrator of eight funds in a year overshadowed by Covid-19? Annette Mosman, our recently appointed CEO, believes it was the ultimate test case and that APG really held its own through it. “In 2020, employees started working from home overnight, we kept the pension administration of 4.7 million participants running from three thousand home offices, and we didn’t panic when the stock market fell hard. We turned out to be a robust, agile organization.”

 

A new CEO, a new sound? What will we notice about Annette Mosman’s approach?

“I’m starting this job with a clear premise. I am from within the organization, and I know the sector. As CEO, I am going to do things my own way: often by listening first and reacting later. I am always curious about other people’s visions. Accents will shift, but the route is rock-solid. First of all, we are going to perform really well. The coming years will be geared towards the end result: implementation of the new pension contract (NPC), in collaboration with our funds, in 2026 and being a strong social player at the same time. Because we are doing this for the financial fitness of 4.7 million people. To reach that goal, we will have to be consistent in the next few years: eyes on the ball and do what we have agreed on. We have to do it right: with our attention on our funds, employers and their participants, on each other and on our environment. We are in this for the long haul and the trajectory will have its ups and downs.”

 

What will be the highest priority for you in the next while?

“Our established strategy for the coming years. Our focus is now on its execution: introduction and implementation of the NPC is our first priority; everything comes after that. We will be making clear choices and carrying them out superbly. We will be doing that with a strong social profile: we are inextricably linked to the 4.7 participants of our funds, with employers and with other partners in society. If we do our job well, we will be a thought leader as a pension administrator and a key player in the sector.”

 

 

This is the first annual report where you are the CEO. Transparency plays a central role in the report. Why was that decided?

“For the second time in a row, we are publishing an integrated report. In it we show what value we add to our stakeholders: our clients, society, shareholders and the funds. We are aware of our role and are taking a critical look at it. This is the main theme of this annual report. We are not an ordinary company. We work for 8 funds and 4.7 million participants and manage almost 600 billion Euros. In addition to being a learning organization, APG also focuses on the social impact we have. Being transparent, like we are in this annual report, means that we are also showing our vulnerability and therefore also showing what did not go right. If something is wrong with out execution, or the collaboration with the Works Council is not running smoothly, we will communicate about this.”


The road to the NPC is long and complex. What exactly does that road look like now?

“We don’t want to be faced with any unpleasant surprises when we start the transition to the new pension system with our funds. That is a crucial component of our strategy and that is what our clients expect from us. It is also a precondition for transitioning to the new pension system. Compare it to an attic you need to clean out before you move. In our case, for example, that means working with our funds to tackle the complexity in the current plans. But it also means going through the pension administration and fixing it if something is unexpectedly wrong somewhere. Fixing this is complicated, especially when it has an impact on people’s wallets. In collaboration with the funds, we are trying to find solutions that are in the best interest of the participant.”

We play a certain role, but we never do this alone

What does that mean for APG in concrete terms?

The transition to the new pension contract will affect the work of almost all employees within APG in the coming years: from IT, pension administration, asset management, risk management, client contact and communication to HR. It will change our work in almost every respect. This will demand a lot from us as an organization and from our employees in the coming years. At the same time, it offers APG the opportunity to show that even in a new system we can live up to our position as a leading administrator. Because we are a leader in our field for good reasons. With our digitalization, participant orientation and pension expertise, we have all the ingredients needed to create a new proposition and to measure up to other financial parties. We also have eight loyal clients who are going to go through this process with us. So, let’s not stare into the headlights, but get on with implementing.”


In the past year, things went wrong in the execution a few times. How do you look back on that?

"That’s true. In August 2020, for example, an action surrounding the disability pension was completed. In the process, a total of 8,352 participants were retroactively awarded the pensions they were entitled to. Some 8,500 participants also received a rightful supplement for coinciding periods of service. For the participants in question, this made a big impact. And as a pension administrator, we understand this very well.  That is why we are doing everything we can to carefully inform participants and assist them in these kinds of situations. And we also learn from them. Over the past year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced us all to start working from home, we have improved our processes enormously and where there were problems for participants, we have solved these as quickly as possible.”

Is the chance of errors really going to be less now?

The store is being renovated while sales continue. It seems like Covid-19 barely affected APG.

“The switch from office organization to home-based organization went smoothly. Operations - including paying pensions, collecting premiums, investing - were not compromised at any time. Pension fund clients, employers and participants hardly noticed that we supported or spoke to them from home instead of our offices. And in many cases, we are still doing that. I am very proud of that.

 

There is a lot of talk about APG’s role as a social player. How is APG going to fulfill that role in the next period?

“APG is a company, but it is really much more than that: as the biggest administrator, we play a certain role, but we never do this alone. If we do our job well in the coming years, other parties, such as funds, will want to collaborate with us and join forces with us. At the same time, I want to look beyond that: because with our knowledge and skills, we could mean a lot more for people and for society. Financial security affects your health, your wellbeing and your opportunities. Your pension is not a stand-alone thing. That is why I want to seek more connection with social partners, for example, around themes like health, financial education and poverty reduction. APG employees can actively contribute to that. Taking care of our environment means also taking care of the planet. We are investing with a view of the long term and in as sustainable a way as possible. Our operations will be climate-neutral by 2030. That is why we are moving to a new, sustainable building at the end of the year. And we are working on a new mobility plan for all APG employees. We will be looking without any dogma at what is good for us and for our environment.”

 

Finally: what are you looking forward to most in 2021?

“Seeing coworkers again and being able to go back to the office. But I'm also looking forward to the steps we're going to take towards the new pension contract. That is really a very complex process. So, I hope that the politicians in The Hague will stick to the established timeline. I am still assuming that on January 1, 2026, all funds will have to make the transition, and we really need that time.”

 

View the Annual Report 2020 here. 

 

Read the interview with Ronald Wuijster, board member and person responsible for Asset Management and HR: “Selling from a sense of panic is never a good idea” - Ronald Wuijster on investing during a Covid year. 

Volgende publicatie:
Annual report 2020: Looking back at a special year

Annual report 2020: Looking back at a special year

Published on: 31 March 2021

Today, APG publishes its annual report for the year 2020. For APG, pensions are about people, life and living together. We want to make a difference and ensure a good income, now and later. Our 2020 annual report describes how we have worked on this in the past year; for eight pension funds, 22,000 employers and through them, for 4.7 million people in the Netherlands.


Key points for 2020:

  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the operation, including paying out pensions, collecting contributions and investing, was never jeopardized.
  • Customer satisfaction has grown again
  • We have given more people insight into their income for later and their pension assets
  • We have outperformed the market index, and the price per participant has again fallen. As such, we contributed to achieving more pension value for the members of the pension funds we work for
  • In 2020, together with the pension funds we work for, we started preparations for the transition to tomorrow's pension. Among other things, we have made progress in the fields of automation, innovation, streamlining of processes, simplifying and cleaning up the pension administration and further increasing the participant focus.

APG achieved a 6.6% return and an additional return of 94 basis points for its pension funds and their participants in 2020. At the same time, APG succeeded in lowering the average price per participant to € 66.30. Also, APG provided 1,015,000 participants with insight into pension assets and 1,965,000 participants with insight into income for later. APG's turnover in 2020 was more than € 762 million. The net result came to € 42 million. APG's reputation score rose to 72.6 in 2020.

View the full APG 2020 Annual Report here as pdf or visit our special website

 

Tomorrow, at apg.nl you can read the interview with Annette Mosman (chairman of the APG Board of Directors) and Ronald Wuijster (member of the APG Board of Directors, responsible for Asset Management) about the annual report. 

 

 

Volgende publicatie:
“I’m convinced we can take on the competition”

“I’m convinced we can take on the competition”

Published on: 19 March 2021

Chairman of the Board, Annette Mosman talks on BNR about the new pension contract

 

Annette Mosman joined the BNR program Zakendoen (Doing Business) yesterday to talk about the introduction of the new pension contract (NPC), as well as the tight planning and the cost price per participant. APG’s investment policy also came up. One thing’s for sure: as pension administrator, APG needs to step up.

 

A hundred years of pension system is being overhauled: A huge reorganization. Moreover, as Mosman pointed out, we need to deliver a product in 2026, while we currently have no idea what this will look like. “In the meantime, we just have to get on and get ready for this.”

Certainty about the pension amount is making way for greater individual responsibility. However, as pensions are not really a topic that concerns most people, transparency and clear communications are more essential than ever, explained Mosman. We need a contract we can implement and justify. Certainly because there’s already a concern for that so-called unlucky generation - between 35 and 55 years - who won’t benefit from the old system but are confronted with commitments in the new one. The term ‘pension theft’ came up in this connection.

“It’s not pension theft; it’s more of a redistribution. There will still be a pension pot of some 1,800 billion but we’ll be distributing that across different generations. Those in political circles and employers’ and employees’ organizations - we are only the administrator - need to make sure that this continues to be fair on participants.”

 

Two variants

The law must be adopted on January 1, 2022. There are two variants: the new contract and the Improved Defined Contribution Scheme Act, which is arranged in a more individual way. It’s up to the funds and employers’ and employees’ organizations to make a choice. Mosman says, “As administrator we’re contributing ideas and making calculations. We work for eight funds and will be implementing both schemes. I think that the large funds will probably choose the new contract including the collective buffer.” This variant requires a lot of explanation to participants. “The other contract is simpler, which makes it cheaper. If you have a membership with small pensions, it’s perhaps a logical choice to go for the Improved Defined Contribution Scheme Act. Because the size of the pension is much more important than all the communications around this.”

 

Investing in Shell

The interview then focused on APG as large investor. Risk, return, costs and sustainability are criteria that APG considers when investing. “We’re about providing a good pension for everyone. Not only financially, but also in a sustainable world. We’ve made a conscious choice for engagement and inclusion and don’t only invest based on return considerations. By continuing to meet with Shell, we can also exert positive influence.”

 

Competition

“We have 100 years’ experience and 3,000 pension and investment experts in house.

And we’re really good administrators. So the more complex the system, the easier we can retain our competitive position. But when I think about the eight funds and the four-and-a-half million participants we work for, then all that complexity just undermines confidence in the new system.”

Capgemini, which has drafted the pension fund for the retail trade, claims that it will soon cost fifteen euro per participant in pension administration. Mosman: “We’re comparing apples to oranges here. You can compete on price, manage a simple pension pot and announce an amount to the participants. I’m not going to get into whether you can do that for fifteen euros. But I agree that our price needs to go down if the product becomes simpler. However, if you say that there needs to be more focus on income for later, you need to do something before it becomes a societal problem. Fortunately, our funds are of the opinion that participant communications, both during the transition and afterwards, are the top priority. And that’s included in the price.”

 

Listen to the entire broadcast here.

Volgende publicatie:
“Why wasn’t there a clearer choice between two different contracts?”

“Why wasn’t there a clearer choice between two different contracts?”

Published on: 11 February 2021

APG reacts to the Bill future of pensions

In 2026 the new pension system will start. Everybody who wanted to could react on the ‘Bill future pensions’ of Minister Koolmees until February 12 February. APG is one of the parties who had a reaction. The scope: the new system offers an opportunity to start with a clean slate and to make the Dutch pension system easier to understand for the participants. But to take away some of the disadvantages of the current system without losing the advantages for the participants, there are a number of points that deserve explicit attention.

APG head of Policy Peter Gortzak and strategic policy employee Tinka den Arend explain this.

APG is a pension provider and therefore has mostly reacted from that perspective. That reaction focuses on the main points of attention for a successful new system. ‘Taking away disadvantages of the current system without losing the advantages for participants’ is one of those. ‘Solidarity’, ‘freedom of choice’, and ‘open norms’ are also keywords. Gortzak: “The combination of much freedom of choice and solidarity creates a tension field. As a pension fund and provider, you must be able to take a certain measure of investment risk. But you can only take that risk in a responsible way if you do that together and therefore invest together. If you think it is more important to give your participants much freedom of choice in how there will be invested for their pension, then you can share fewer risks. And if there are fewer people to carry that risk, then you can also take less risk.”

Written towards each other
In the new system, two pension contracts are possible: the new pension contract and the improved premium agreement. In the improved premium agreement, there is less solidarity, more risk, and more freedom of choice. In the new contract, the participant runs less risk than in the improved premium agreement, because of the risk-sharing, as mentioned. However, from the bill, it appears that both contracts differ less from each other than what Gortzak and Den Arend had hoped for. Gortzak: “Now both contracts are written towards each other. Because of that, there is a threat that in the one contract there is not enough room for sharing of risks, and in the other contract not enough room for freedom of choice. The question is if that is wise. Why not choose much more explicitly for two completely different contracts?”

It is also important to offer sufficient wiggle room for the board of the fund. In the one hundred and sixty pages of the consultation document, it is indicated in twenty different places that further elaboration in the regulation is needed. Shouldn’t there be a new consultation around then as soon as that elaboration has taken place? Den Arend: “Indeed, partially you now don’t know exactly what you are reacting to. Actually, you should propose the whole thing again. But you can also waive that detailed elaboration and leave the details to the board members of the fund. Directors of pension funds are subjected to high standards nowadays. So, give them the responsibility and the space to move within certain norms and to be accountable for it.”

Den Arend illustrates the principle with an example. “The consultation document gives three criteria to measure the risk attitude of participants. But two of those are untested norms. We don’t know if the participants understand them and how they react to them. It would be better to do some research about that first. And then let the fund boards make the choice themselves. But even then that preparedness for risk with participants is just one of the factors that a fund board should base its policy on.“

Clean slate
No matter how important solidarity is for a good pension; you can hardly find that word in the consultation document. Gortzak and Den Arend find that worrisome. Den Arend: “In fact, you could call the new contract ‘the solidarity contract’. But it may not be called that because you could then draw the conclusion that the other contract is not solidary.”  
The faster and more direct the participants are taking advantage of the new system, the better it is. Therefore APG emphasizes in their reaction the importance of a clean slate. Gortzak: “In order to start with that clean slate, we plead for two things. First: make intercalation into it the standard option. That means that you carry over the existing pension agreements to the new system. If you don’t do that, then there will be two systems side by side. That is a nightmare for the execution, because then you have to do everything twice. The participants cannot take advantage of the advantages of the new system and you make them pay unnecessarily much. If you do intercalate, you are left with a single system for which you strive for maximum explainability for the participants.

The second thing that we plead for is that the rules of the new system apply for all new regulations of all types of pensions and coverages of risks – so including for the survivor’s pensions and the disability schemes. It now looks like the FTK (Financieel Toetsingskader [Financial Assessment Framework], part of the Pension Law in which the financial demands for pension funds have been recorded, red.) still remains intact for the payment phase of the improved premium regulation and possibly also for the disability pension and the orphan’s pension. APG pleads to not do that and to completely release the financial demands of the FTK.”

Blind faith
In order to make the transfer to the new system successful, that transfer must be ‘explainable, trustworthy and executable’, which is written in the reaction of APG. Den Arend: “In the bill, a framework is sketched to have the transition run carefully. For instance, steps to be taken, roles, and competencies. We can find ourselves for a large part in that proposition. But we still see a number of large risks. Trust can only arise if we can explain to participants, employers, and fund bodies that the transition will happen in a balanced way. For that, we need to use criteria and calculation methods that people understand. In order to transfer to the new system, you will have to convert pension agreements of participants according to capital – in fact, a pot of money. The methodology that is proposed now for that conversion should be scrapped from the law completely. It is too complex and not transparent enough. That makes it hardly possible to explain it. We need the trust of the participants very much. But if they don’t understand what it’s about, then you actually ask them to have blind faith. I think that is asking too much. On top of that, while using that methodology, there are many – debatable - suppositions.”

Are there any more risks? Den Arend: “Yes, because it remains to be seen if the funds and the providers can realize the new system on time. For a careful and well executable transition, additional measures are necessary.”

 

The complete reaction of APG on the consultation Bill future pensions.

Volgende publicatie:
“I wish all we had to process was the new contract”

“I wish all we had to process was the new contract”

Published on: 25 November 2020

Pension system reform requires drastic ICT operation

 

The Netherlands is on the eve of the largest-ever pension system reform in the world. That transition is causing quite a few headaches in the sector. One of the challenges is whether pension administrators’ existing ICT systems are suitable for this major change to the system. And if that is not the case, is there still enough time to set up a completely new ICT architecture?

 

To start with the pressing question: can the current systems be adapted to accommodate the new contract? According to Wim Henk Steenpoorte, who is responsible for the transition to the new system at APG, the two systems that APG is currently using are "very good systems in and of themselves, which are currently working just fine. Of course, you can see if you can modify existing systems, which is why we are now doing research into this. But because the character of the system is changing so fundamentally, I’m not ready to make any big claims that that route is the most sensible. That is why we are consciously looking broadly at different options: build it ourselves or buy or create it through an alliance.”

 

The fundamental change Steenpoorte is referring to concerns the transition within the Dutch pension system from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC). With a DB contract, the fund makes a promise about the amount of future pension benefits; in the case of a DC system, the participant knows what he or she is investing, but has less certainty about the amount of the pension payments.

 

According to Steenpoorte, what makes this ICT issue so difficult is that the administration of a pension contract becomes increasingly complicated over time. "They are contracts that store an enormous history. Changes are made every year. People get married or divorced, for example, and all those lifetime events have a major impact on the administration of their pension. This accumulation of changes makes administration intrinsically more and more complicated.”

 

A lot of pressure

In addition, apart from the two variants of the new pension contract, a number of other legislative changes already need to be implemented in the ICT systems. "I wish all we had to process was the new pension contract in whichever variant a fund chooses. But there is already a lot of pressure due to the bill on pension equalization, regarding divorce, lump-sum payment, standardization of survivor's pension, standardization of the partner concept, experimenting with legislation on pensions for the self-employed and evaluating communications regarding pensions. What we really want to avoid is having to make all these changes twice; once in the current system and once in the new system," says Steenpoorte. In any case, it going to be a very busy time for the people working on our current systems.

 

Speed required
He doesn't have to think long about what the ideal circumstances would be to make the transition go smoothly. "To begin with, speed up the process of arriving at new legislation. It has now been promised that this will be completed in December 2021, and in order to achieve this there cannot be any obstacles. But it is imperative for the decision-making process at the level of social partners and pension funds. Secondly, everyone would benefit from clarity regarding the process in which funds choose their options – with respect to the form of the contract, but also, for example, about the design of the solidarity reserve. The third requirement for a workable transition, is the conditions that are imposed on the integration (transferring participants’ pension entitlements from the old system to the new system, ed.).

That integration is going to be a complex job to begin with, but if there is also going to be an option to make individual objections, that is going to really complicate things. That also applies to retroactive changes. For a DC contract, that is almost impossible to do. Suppose, for example, a year’s worth of pension premium is invested retroactively. That premium can then no longer be invested in the financial markets of a year ago, but the participant is entitled to any returns achieved during that year. How are you going to solve that? Because we can only process changes on the day they are reported to the fund and the administrator; the so-called timeliness principle.”

 

Nightmare
There is also a possible scenario in which there is no integration. "All participants would then receive two pension contracts, one for the old system and one for the new one. Changes would then have to be processed in both the old and the new system. When there are questions from participants, the two systems would both have to be examined to find an answer,” Steenpoorte says.

 

Will APG be able to deal with this? Steenpoorte: "We are imagining every scenario, and ultimately, there is a solution for everything. But this would really be a nightmare - for funds and their participants, and for APG.”

Volgende publicatie:
The quality of pension administration needs to go from Premier League to Champions League

The quality of pension administration needs to go from Premier League to Champions League

Published on: 20 April 2020

‘If the basis isn’t in order, you lose people’s trust’

 

APG can look back over a financially strong year. But some things also went wrong due to mistakes in the pension administration. The bar must be raised, say Chairman Gerard van Olphen and CFRO Annette Mosman. But first it’s all hands on deck to deal with the consequences of the coronavirus crisis.

 

Even APG’s Executive Board is working from home on account of the coronavirus crisis. Just like nearly all the three thousand other employees who now work from their dining tables or their attics to look after the pensions of 4.7 million participants (nearly a third of the Dutch population) for the eight affiliated pension funds including ABP, bpfBOUW and SPW. Pleased that the switch to working from home has gone so smoothly, Gerard van Olphen and Annette Mosman - responsible for finance, risk management and data - look back via video call over the first few weeks.

As a result of the coronavirus crisis everything that came before suddenly seems far removed. And yet it’s worth pausing to look back at 2019. It was a strong year for APG: pension values were further increased by good financial results, a fine return on investment and lower costs. But there were challenges too: for example APG as an investor slightly underperformed the market average, a few things went wrong with pension administration, and APG has some work to do to catch up in terms of making its own corporate management sustainable. So this year too there’s plenty of work to be done.

 

First of all, the coronavirus crisis: how is APG dealing with it?

 

Gerard: ‘First of all we're taking good care of our employees, both in the Netherlands and in Hong Kong and New York. We’re supporting people maximally in working from home and we’re paying extra attention to internal communication. We also understand and pay attention to the difficult situation that some colleagues are currently in, such as combining work with taking care of their child, informal care or other situations. We also pay special attention to the health of our people. We’re also offering our help externally. Employees with a background in care can be placed with hospitals on full pay. On behalf of the funds we have also made student accommodation that we own or rent available as emergency hospitals, and we are supporting hospitals in the North of Italy in which we invest. Furthermore we have invested nearly ninety million euros in corona bonds for our clients: the funds raised are used to combat the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences. In consultation with the affiliated funds we are also adopting an accommodating stance with companies in problem sectors with regard to possible reductions or holidays in contributions or dividends.’

 

Many people in the Netherlands are afraid their pensions will be reduced.

 

Gerard: ‘Well, we’re certainly not going to reduce them during the year. At the end of the year we will look and see whether that is necessary. In the first quarter of 2020 the coverage ratios of the pension funds fell as a result of falling stock prices and turbulent financial markets, but for any decision to reduce pensions we do not look at the current situation.’

Annette: ‘Pension is uncertain and subject to numerous influences that we explain to participants as best we can. So we can’t take away the growing uncertainty about future pensions, but we will see to it that monthly pension payments continue normally even in these uncertain times. People can count on their income just as always, and that contributes to peace and confidence in society.’


How do you look back at 2019?

 

Annette: ‘Financially it was a good year. First of all we sold our insurance company Loyalis in order to concentrate on our core activities. As a result we were able to pay a super dividend to the affiliated funds, which will largely end up in participants’ pensions. At the same time total revenues increased and we managed to reduce costs. In this way we maximize pension value and make sure that as big a proportion as possible of each euro paid in works to the benefit of the participants. It also enables us to invest more in communication with participants and employers, for which we have set up a new business unit.’

 

Not everything went well last year: for example there was negative publicity about errors in the pension administration.

 

Gerard: ‘Yes, there were a number of things that we simply didn’t do right. For example, at the beginning of last year, it was discovered that over 500 ABP participants had for years been receiving a partner supplement to which they were not entitled. In some cases people were suddenly asked to pay back thousands of euros. We came in for a lot of criticism over this. We hadn’t fully realized what an impact this would have on participants and hadn’t properly thought about an equitable solution. In the end, ABP called a halt to the demands for reimbursement and gave back the money that had been reimbursed. Conversely some 600 participants had received too little supplement; they have since been paid with retroactive effect. And then we found out that there were 16,000 people who hadn’t applied for disability pension because they didn’t know they were entitled to it. We immediately contacted these people to tell them how they could apply for this pension.’

 

Shouldn’t APG have opened up sooner about the mistakes and how they were dealt with? Participants had to take them to TV consumer programs like ‘Kassa’ and ‘Meldpunt’.

 

Annette: ‘The affiliated pension funds are the interface and the point of contact for the participant. So we must be more transparent toward the pension funds concerned about mistakes, problems with data and the possible solutions to them. If they’re informed in good time that something has gone wrong, they can pro-actively communicate with their participants and seek solutions. This would partly avoid problems ending up on Kassa.’

Gerard: ‘The annoying thing is that when we do something wrong, it’s the fund concerned that has to face the music. As administrator, we can’t take part in Kassa ourselves, much as we might like to take responsibility. For example, there was one couple on Kassa who had received three letters with corrections in two years. That damages credibility. It’s only natural that people then start to wonder about reliability and competence in general. It’s a struggle. This year we really need to pull our socks up and improve our quality.’

 

What specifically are you doing to prevent these kinds of incidents in the future?

 

Annette: ‘We learn from them. Together with the pension funds we’ve set to work determinedly on further simplifying pension regulations, systems and application procedures and we're busy with data cleansing and verification. We’re making employees aware that the bar’s been raised and we’re making use of new technology to be able to take the next step.’

Gerard: ‘The basis must be in order. Because if the pension administration is not right, you lose people’s trust, however much you might invest in communication with participants. With the new pension contract the bar will soon be raised even higher: all data will have to be correct and complete and seamlessly dovetailing with the data of the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) and the National Insurance and Pension Agency. So we really need to work our way up from Premier League to Champions League.’

 

In view of the current crisis, does it still make sense to agree on a new pension contract that shifts the risk more toward the participant?

 

Gerard: ‘We’re going from a pension guarantee to a pension ambition: an estimate of future returns. The old system is no longer sustainable, but in the new system as far as we're concerned three principles remain unchanged: collectivity, solidarity between generations and an obligation to save for later. The coronavirus crisis does make it all the more urgent to cut through knots in the debate about the new pension contract. APG is actively thinking about this. We are working out how various scenarios would be, suggesting alternatives and looking at the specific implications for participants and employers, with the emphasis on comprehensibility and feasibility.’

Annette: ‘We also want to help people now to think about their future financial situation and making the right choices in good time. With this in mind, we’ve developed Clear Overview & Insight, with which you can compare your expected pension with your current pattern of income and expenditure and see whether you're going to have enough. APG aims to present itself as a trusted guide, offering people insight into their income now, in the near future and later.’

 

APG also positions itself as a responsible investor, and makes demands of its investees in terms of sustainability. However APG itself seems not yet to be meeting these demands overall. How are you going to change this?

 

Gerard: ‘The affiliated funds, particularly ABP, but also bpfBOUW, aim to be global forerunners in sustainability policy: responsible conduct in the areas of environment, working conditions, diversity and human rights. Together we have established firm ambitions which are aligned with the Climate Agreement, for example for CO2 emissions of the equity portfolio. We take account of these in our investment decisions and we talk to investee companies about them. But this of course implies that we must also set a good example, and that's where we still fall short. Our CO2 emissions as an organization are relatively high, from our establishments in the Netherlands, Asia and the US and because we travel a lot. We’re looking now at how we can reduce our environmental footprint, for example by making our offices more sustainable, more videoconferencing and thus less travel between establishments and for our work.’

Annette: ‘We aim to be transparent about our sustainability performance too, both as regards the investment policy pursued on behalf of the funds and in our own business management. This year we’ve taken the first step toward integrated reporting: one annual report in which we render account of progress toward both financial and non-financial objectives. That’s actually quite difficult. For example, before you can report properly on sustainability, you first have to know what goals you want to make measurable and to what extent. That’s what we're busy with now, so that next year we’ll be able to show what we’ve achieved across the entire breadth of our business, what’s going well and anything that still isn’t. There are many benefits to be derived from this. This transparency can also contribute to society’s confidence in us.’
 

Read the interview with Ronald Wuijster: ‘In both our investment and our remuneration decisions we look to the long term’

 

Read APG’s Annual Report 2019 here.

Volgende publicatie:
APG at retirement conference: blockchain and dinosaurs

APG at retirement conference: blockchain and dinosaurs

Published on: 7 June 2018

Unfortunately, this article is not available in Dutch.

Volgende publicatie:
Looking back at a successful Blockchain conference

Looking back at a successful Blockchain conference

Published on: 16 February 2018

On February 8th, APG & PGGM hosted the ‘Future of Pensions Blockchain Conference’ at Pakhuis West in Amsterdam. APG and PGGM decided back in 2015 to work together on several blockchain-based experiments to explore if they could improve the pension administration and industry as a whole. On this specific day, for the first time in public, they showed the results achieved.

 

Theo van Kessel (Director Business Improvement & Change at APG] & Peter Bannink (Manager Outsourcing & Innovation at PGGM) opened with a Q&A discussing the challenges faced in pensions and the challenges that face APG/PGGM today and in the future. The two well-known names in the industry set the tone for the day: “change and innovation is needed to stay ahead of the game.” Thereby the opening was a perfect introduction to what was next: four demos of the prototypes that are built so far. Two international speakers were invited to talk about decentralised asset management and how to solve issues around exchanging/curating data. TNO was next up discussing the opportunities and challenges when it comes to smart (pension) contracts. 

 

The day ended with a fantastic panel moderated by Hidde Terpoorten (Blockchain Lead at APG) discussing the future of blockchain in pensions, with Sandra van Heukelom (Lawyer and Partner at Pels Rijcken), Marjolijn Pouw (Innovation Manager at PGGM), Rutger van Zuidam (Founder at Dutchchain & Blockchaingers), and Fieke van der Lecq (Professor of Pension Markets at VU). The panel concluded that we shouldn’t stop at challenges, but rather explore the opportunities of this new technology and don’t be afraid of making a wrong step once in a while. This was also reflected in the forecasts for how long it will take for the first blockchain application to ‘go live’ in the pension industry, where 3 years was the furthest away guess. Thus, the panel ended the first edition of the conference with a clear message to the audience: 

 

‘There’s a lot to figure out still, but lets explore the future of pensions together!’

 

APG & PGGM look back at a very successful day in which they could show their progress and connect with the blockchain ecosystem. 

Volgende publicatie:
APG and PGGM develop a blockchain application for pension administration

APG and PGGM develop a blockchain application for pension administration

Published on: 12 October 2017

APG and PGGM have successfully completed the first phase of a joint experiment involving the development of a pension administration blockchain application. The two pension administration organizations will now be conducting further research with this prototype. Over time, the continued development of this prototype will produce a more flexible and transparent pension administration system at considerably lower costs.

 

Wim Henk Steenpoorte, member of the APG’s Executive Board: "We aim to create the maximum possible value for pension funds and their participants. By investing in smart applications, such as blockchain, we make our pension administration simpler and cheaper over time. This is good news for pension funds and their participants. We are pleased to be able to facilitate this development and partnership at the Smart Services Campus in Heerlen."

 

Paul Boomkamp, member of PGGM's Executive Board: "With this experiment we are building the pension infrastructure of tomorrow for our clients and their participants. It is an important step that we are able to take with the support of our largest client, PFZW. The first results make us excited and curious to learn and explore even more. Ultimately, this experiment has to show that blockchain technology has the potential to manage a policy administration at lower rates.. It is an excellent development that two of the largest pension administration organizations are joining forces to work on this kind of innovation."

 

Pension Administration Blockchain Application

The expectation is that blockchain technology has the potential for significantly improving the services pension funds provide to their participants. A key objective is to lower participant costs and to simplify pension administration, and make it more secure. In addition, the personal pension data will be become more accessible to participants.

 

The developed prototype is comparable to a pension administration system shared by all parties. This is controlled by means of so-called smart contracts. This is a set of a programmable rules that specify who can view, change, and use the data.

The use of blockchain technology makes it possible to store pension information in the nodes of the blockchain network. These nodes are points in the network and consist of, for example, pension providers, employers, and regulators. The nodes check the information, execute the programmed pension contracts, and synchronize with each other. This makes the storage of pension information secure and participants—at the push of a button—can see how much pension they have accrued.

 

Next Phase

The first results are very promising and at the same time, there is still much to learn about blockchain and the opportunities for pensions. In the coming period PGGM and APG therefore will continue the blockchain project. For this experiment are talks are held with various parties in the pension chain such as pension funds, regulators and information providers.

Together with PPF APG, the company pension fund of APG, a test case is developed in which the administration of the fund is implemented in blockchain. This fits the strategy of the fund for an efficient pension implementation.

Volgende publicatie:
Pension fund for practices of architects selects APG as its new pension provider

APG new pension provider for pPension fund for practices of architects

Published on: 30 March 2017

Efforts to prepare a seamless transition will be undertaken in the coming period. The administration and implementation of the pension scheme will be actually transferred to APG as of January 1, 2018. The agreement between the two parties will extend to 2023, with the option of renewal.

 

APG will ensure correct administration of pension rights, collection of pension contributions, and payment of retirement benefits for the PFA.

 

Willem Jan Boot, chairman of the board of PFA: “After a careful process, APG emerged to be the best pension provider. We feel that APG is a future-proof party and believe it is the party that can best service our participants and employers.”

 

Gerard van Olphen, Chairman of APG’s Executive Board said: “We are pleased that PFA has chosen APG. We would like to thank PFA’s board for their confidence in us. We will pull out all the stops in the coming period to ensure a smooth transition, so that we can provide optimal service to both the pension fund and the individual participants from January 1, 2018.”

Volgende publicatie:
Life Sight partly because APG Inadmin daughter, now also for smaller employers

Life Sight partly because APG Inadmin daughter, now also for smaller employers

Published on: 11 September 2016

By partnering with APG-daughter Inadmin is the product of Life Sight (formerly Towers Watson PPI) also within reach of smaller businesses. Life Sight piggybacks on the scale that APG provides Inadmin daughter. Annemiek Vollenbroek, director of Life Sight and Inadmin director Rik Douwes talk about their collaboration in Life Magazine Sight on 12 September.

 

Independent and open platform

"Last year we started to orient ourselves to a new administrator. Two criteria were top of the list of the Life Oversight Board. The administrator must be independent and provide an open platform. "Our principle is that we work together with independent parties, 'says Vollenbroek. Inadmin performs as APG daughter pension, investment and insurance administration of defined contribution (= Defined contribution, DC) for Premium Pension Institutions (PPIs), (corporate) pension funds, asset managers and insurers.

 

Good track record of flawless execution

The second requirement was that the contractor should be able to run the product of Life Sight immaculate and so had to have a good track record. Vollenbroek "That makes sense, but requires a lot of a performer because we have a unique concept. With us NextGenDC-investment concept, the participant will receive an investment mix that is tailored to their personal preferences and situation. That vary from employee to employee. Furthermore, the investment is in line with the investment horizon of the participant and takes into account the need to purchase a lifetime benefit to the effective date (investment purchase price oriented). Moreover, let us see what the net pension participant about expect. At that amount, we take account of inflation so that the participant will get a realistic view of his retirement income relative to its current income. "

Through the combination of these two requirements Life Sight quickly came off at Inadmin. That's not to say Life Sight board on thin ice is gone. "We have also looked at some foreign parties and examine whether Willis Towers Watson could do the performance itself. Moreover, we have asked for a second opinion to make sure we had seen no possibilities overlooked, "says Vollenbroek.

 

Lower costs through scale

Discussions on cooperation were initiated late last year. "The range of first contact to contract usually lasts for a year," says Rik Douwes, director of Inadmin. In the coming months the administration of Life Sight is about to Inadmin.

"We are very pleased with Sight Life as a customer," said Douwes, who founded earlier mortgage servicer Stater. "We are a subsidiary of APG and focus on others. We specialize in defined contribution. We only do the administration and communication, no other issues such as management support and asset management. The administration is not the most exciting part of a product, but should be good. It is a hygiënefactor.'

Inadmin work for multiple clients, who benefit from the economies of scale to lower costs. "This allows us to broaden our audience," says Vollenbroek. "Initially we focused only on larger companies. From now on, our product is also available for companies over 100 employees. "
 

Power

Vollenbroek stresses the importance of a good performer. "The participant and the employer perceived the administration along with communication as the core of the product. I expect that the strength of our product through collaboration with Inadmin more will come forward. "

The power of Life Sight is the combination of communication and the way in which investments are tailored to the participants. "We are under staffing standard (default) lifecycle that fits that population," Vollenbroek explains. "Those default varies by company and by individual. That is unique. Other PPIs usually works with some variations of a lifecycle. "

The next step is the investment per participant. To give a good insight automated, a participant must answer some questions. "We do not want to bother participants with complicated questions about investing. Experience shows that they drop out. Therefore, we ask for the desired retirement income. Participants will issue examples of people with similar income 'says Vollenbroek. To determine the risk appetite, participants are asked how much income they need at least after retirement.

On the basis of the answers shall Life Sight uses algorithms to provide an optimal individual lifecycle fixed for the participant. "We expect thousands of scenarios and then select the scenario with the highest probability of the desired retirement given its risk posture. In this way we relieve the employer. Which need not concern themselves with individual pensions. "
 

By Investing

Vollenbroek and Douwes expect the automated solution is further refined. 'How more data we have, the better to provide insight. If we know more about for example the ability and the mortgage goes more towards personal financial planning. Then we can offer the participant an insight to change the mix or pour in as needed to reach his retirement goal, "says Vollenbroek.

For the foreseeable future Life Sight sees through investing after retirement as an important development. "PPIs now also get the opportunity to play a role in the distribution phase. This has major consequences, 'says Vollenbroek. Participants must make choices earlier example. In that case also we want to keep it simple communication. "

On improvements to the PPI product Sight and Life Inadmin produce continuously. "Good cooperation is necessary to adapt products on time," says Vollenbroek. "We are very satisfied with the cooperation. If Inadmin promises something, it comes true. If something can not, let us know in due time. Moreover, we have set up a governance model with a high contact frequency. This contributes to the good cooperation."

 

Read more:

Volgende publicatie:
APG invests in innovative technology, including blockchain

APG invests in innovative technology, including blockchain

Published on: 11 July 2016

APG is to work alongside other companies and knowledge institutions on practical applications of blockchain, artificial intelligence, and technology which contributes to reducing carbon emissions. APG will be earmarking a significant part of its innovation budget for this in the coming years. Developments in these fields are advancing at lightning speeds, and hold great promise for society. The insights and experiences acquired along the way will contribute to further improvements in APG’s operational management. The projects will be conducted on the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen.

 

Gerard van Olphen, APG CEO: “Blockchain’s inherent promise, artificial intelligence and the effects of climate change will all exercise significant influence on the future of APG, the commercial world and society. By investing substantially now in such technical innovations, entering into partnerships with companies, start-ups and knowledge institutions, APG is contributing to the strength, synergy and speed needed for the Netherlands soon to be a leading player. Participants in affiliated pension funds will also benefit from this. So I am extremely proud that we are taking a first step in this direction here today.”

 

APG has put together a special team for the execution and supervision, led by Joep Beukers, Director of Innovation at APG. This team will ensure that smart applications will be developed on the campus for a range of sectors, in line with the chosen spearheads. For blockchain, this will include applications for the financial sector, logistics, the property sector and the medical field. The aspiration is to evolve into the European breeding ground for blockchain applications. A variety of companies will collaborate, making a contribution to the center. Research and study programs of several scientific institutions will also be used, including Dutch knowledge institution TNO and BISS (the Business Intelligence & Smart Services Institute). Finally, start-ups and scale-ups will be recruited, with a range of facilities being made available to them on-campus. This aspiration and working method also applies to applications involving artificial intelligence and climate solutions.

 

Consultations have taken place on the spearheads, among others with the Fintech representative in the Dutch cabinet, Willem Vermeend, who believes these innovations are vitally important for the Netherlands’ smart industry and the country’s financial sector. From his position as Endowed Professor of Smart Industry at the Open University in Heerlen, he will take on chairmanship of the project’s advisory and program board.

Volgende publicatie:
Towers Watson PPI and Inadmin sign cooperation agreement

Towers Watson PPI and Inadmin sign cooperation agreement

Published on: 18 April 2016

Towers Watson Foundation PPI and Inadmin S.A. will cooperate with each other with the aim that Inadmin will carry the pension on behalf of the Foundation. Inadmin now serves four out of 11 PPI in the Netherlands.

 

Optimal administration for a distinctive pension product

Ton Stores, Director at Towers Watson PPI: "Towers Watson PPI stands for professionalism and is one of the few independent market players to select the flexibility and the possibility of other partners in order to keep the quality of our service to clients at level. To keep good employees and employers insight into the exploit personal situation and the potential contribution scheme of a new generation, we will cooperate with Inadmin.

 

Fourth PPI shows confidence in open platform philosophy for pension

Rik Douwes, Managing Director of Inadmin "Foundation PPI Towers Watson is a leading player and I am therefore particularly pleased that they are going to work with us. This underlines the great strides we have made in the development of the investment administration. Towers Watson is the fourth PPI who believe in our open platform philosophy. Pension as PPIs, (corporate) pension funds, asset managers and insurers are so able in a short time-to-market to offer their products on the pension market without investing in their own infrastructure."

Volgende publicatie:
Pension Fund for Housing Associations extends contract with APG

Pension Fund for Housing Associations extends contract with APG

Published on: 14 March 2016

APG remains Pension Fund for Housing Corporation (SPW) provide asset management, pension administration and communication. 2016 per sector pension SPW has extended the contract with APG indefinitely.

 

Services for SPW

APG manages and invests SPW pension assets of over € 10 billion. In addition, APG ensures the proper administration of pension collection of premiums and payment of retirement benefits. Furthermore, APG is responsible for communication with (former) participants and pensioners of SPW. Finally APG advises the Board of SPW in the field of communications, legal and actuarial matters.

 

“High customer satisfaction”

Both SPW and APG are positive about the cooperation in recent Pension Fund for Housing Associations extends contract with APG years and looking with confidence to the future. The focus remains on further increasing the quality of service and reduce costs.

Jim Schuyt, CEO at SPW: "We are satisfied with the cooperation with APG. Besides a good investment result is at APG too much knowledge accumulated over our industry. Moreover, the communication is excellent. This results in high customer satisfaction among affiliated employers and participants."

Mark Boerkamp, Chief Operations Officer at APG: "We are obviously very pleased with this contract extension. In recent years we have worked hard to improve the service to SPW and its participants. At the same time we have managed to reduce costs. The coming years we will continue on this path."

 

Second contract extension APG quickly

The new agreement with APG SPW is the second contract extension in 2016. APG made earlier this year that the contract with Stichting Pensioenfonds Medical Specialists (SPMS) has been extended until 2021. Thus knows the pension provider in a short time both an industry and a professional pension fund longer bind.

Volgende publicatie:
Stichting Pensioenfonds Medisch Specialisten extends contract with APG

Stichting Pensioenfonds Medisch Specialisten extends contract with APG

Published on: 15 February 2016

With invested assets of €9 billion, SPMS is one of the 20 leading pension funds in the Netherlands. The pension fund has been affiliated to APG since 2011. APG administrates pension rights, collects contributions and makes pension payments on behalf of SPMS. APG is also responsible for communication with SPMS’ participants. Finally, APG advises the board of SPMS on communication, legal and actuarial matters.

 

Micon Bijl, cardiologist and chairman of the SPMS board: “SPMS is satisfied with the services provided by APG. Everything that we, as an occupational pension fund, laid down as a condition for a possible contract extension have been met. The board has therefore decided to extend the contract with APG until January 1, 2021.”

 

Mark Boerekamp, Chief Operations Officer at APG: “We have worked hard during the past few years to integrate the pension administration and bring the standard of services to the required quality level for SPMS. We are proud that SPMS is confirming its trust in APG and its workforce through this contract extension.”