ABP will be collaborating with the Nederlandse Schuldhulproute (Dutch debt relief route) (NSR). This initiative aims to keep Dutch people out of debt preventively. Over 1 in 5 households in the Netherlands have difficulty paying their bills each month. Naturally, pension fund members may also be affected. By working with NSR to provide proactive help at an early stage, ABP hopes that participants who may be experiencing financial problems can regain control of their finances.
According to NSR, more than 1 in 5 households in the Netherlands struggle to make ends meet on a monthly basis. The problems often arise from significant changes in a person’s life, such as divorce or illness. The financial problems cause embarrassment and stress for many people. Moreover, people appear to have difficulty finding a solution, because the debt assistance landscape is extensive and confusing.
ABP chairwoman Corien Wortmann-Kool: “ABP wants to help its participants make conscious choices about their current and future income now. We want them to be in control of their own situation. Preventing or dealing with financial debts is part of that. I am therefore pleased with the collaboration with NSR. It fits in well with ABP’s social responsibility.”
ABP has entrusted the administration of the pension to the pension administration organization APG. The staff of this customer service agency have been trained to recognize signs of possible payment problems at an early stage. If the pension participant concerned is open to it, APG offers help, in this case on behalf of ABP. This assistance consists of helping to find solutions and identifying the right agencies that can help.
Francine van Dierendonck, member of APG’s Executive Board: “As a pension administrator, we like to help people as best we can with financial issues relating to pensions. We often come into contact with participants at an emotional and intense time in their lives, such as having children, getting married, getting divorced or changing jobs. For all these events, it is important that (financial) affairs continue to be properly arranged. Sometimes, however, this is not possible or you don’t know how to go about it. APG is aware that anyone can get into financial difficulty. That’s why we want to be involved in helping ABP participants and referring them to a specialist.”
According to NSR, keeping the Netherlands financially healthy will work best if people with money issues can be detected and helped at an earlier stage. That help should also be easier to find by having various private and governmental agencies working together.