December 17, 2009

NETHERLANDS: 'Pension funds took too many risks'

. AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands / DutchNews / December 17, 2009 Many Dutch pension funds took too many risks with their investments and were too optimistic about the prospects, the central bank said in its quarterly economic report on Wednesday. Pension funds lost €219bn last year, of which €112bn was due to the decline in value of their investments. The rest followed from interest rate cuts. Photo credit: Allianz Global Investors Many pension funds invested in a whole range of activities, from property to commodities to hedge funds, the central bank said. 'Many funds underestimated the risks they were exposed to or took too-big risks with their financial planning,' the statement said. Asset managers charged by some pension funds with making investments on their behalf were also given too much leeway to act, the central bank said. The decline in their value of their assets means many funds have had to freeze payouts or raise premiums to get their coverage ratios back above the 105% mark. [rc] ©