Profile of Spoorwegpensioenfonds

The Spoorwegpensioenfonds offers the companies, employees and former employees within the Railway transport sector a good, modern and flexible pension plan. The plan is a collective defined contribution plan, targeting a pension reflecting average salary levels. Read the overview of key features of the Spoorwegpensioenfonds pension scheme.

The Spoorwegpensioenfonds is a non-compulsory sector-wide pension fund. With plan assets of EUR 14.3 billion, over 29,000 active participants, over 25,000 pensioners and 69 affiliated companies, the fund is one of the largest pension funds in the Netherlands.
The Railway transport sector pension plan is a collective defined contribution plan. This is a plan under which the employer is obliged to pay a fixed contribution. The accrual of pension is age-dependent. Participants born in or after 1950 are in line for a pension based on an average pay scheme applying a pension age of 67 years. And employees born before 1950 are in line for a moderated final pay scheme applying a pension age of 61 or 62 years. Employers are not liable for compensating for contribution or funding deficits at the pension fund.
Every year, the board decides whether and to what extent the pension is to be adjusted. This depends on the financial situation of the fund. No funds are reserved for this contingent adjustment. Accordingly, there is no automatic right to annual indexation. If the board decides to adjust the pensions, this is done on the basis of the development of contract wages in the Netherlands. This percentage is determined by Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek - CBS).

The Spoorwegpensioenfonds has a collective defined contribution system with a fixed contribution of 20% of the pension basis. Most participants pay a lower contribution based on arrangements made with the employer. The contributions and the available capital are invested. The investment policy is designed to invest the pension capital in a responsible and sustainable manner and maximise returns given the risk profile.
The investment policy of the fund is aimed at maximising investment results over time within a set risk profile. The fund invests worldwide in equities (including emerging markets), private equity, government and corporate bonds, products derived from them and in property funds. In the Netherlands the pension fund also invests directly in property and mortgage loans. The asset mix is selected with the aid of Asset Liability Management modelling. Socially Responsible Investing is part of the investment policy of the Spoorwegpensioenfonds. The investment policy of the Spoorwegpensioenfonds is not geared exclusively to maximising returns, but also guided to a large extent by the social responsibility of the pension fund. Spearheads within the Socially Responsible Investing policy include companies’ performance on socio-ethical and environmental aspects, such as human rights, working conditions and corruption.

Summary of past five years 
 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
 0,0% 0.75%* 0.00% 0.00% 0.50%
Funding ratio
 106,5% 114.5% 122.6% 113.9% 113.2%
 -0,6% 14.3% 4.5% 11.0% 5.0%
* September 2014

At year-end
 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Number of participants
 29,030 29,076 29,452 29,738 29,026
Number of pensioners 1
 25,265 25,291 25,256 25,300 25,315
Number of inactive participants
 18,349 17,909 17,850 17,370 17,192
Affiliated companies
 69 69 70 65 65
Pension contributions (x 1 million €)
 113 120  106 91 85
Pension payments (x 1 million €)
 346 343  343 346 351
Investments (x 1 million €)
 14,356 14,604  12,986 12,645 11,685
Investment result (x 1 million €)
 -39 1,809  557 1,291 559
Return on investments
 -0,6% 14.3%  4.5% 11.0% 5.0%
VPV* (x 1 million €)
 13,138 12,520 10,462 10,804 9,907
Funding ratio (FTK-principles)
 106,5% 114.5%  122.6% 113.9% 113.2%
Pension indexation
 0,0% 0.75%** 0.00% 0.00% 0.50%
FState pension offset in €
 12,642 13,449 13,227 13,062 12,898
*VPV: Provision for pension obligations
** 1/9/2014
1 The number of pensioners is stated excluding persons receiving invalidity pension. This adjustment has also been made for prior years in the table above.
Socially responsible investment  
An important element of the investment policy of the Railway Pension Fund (The Spoorwegpensioenfonds) is socially responsible investment (SRI). The board has embraced the principles of the United Nations Global Compact as a basis for its SRI policy and signed the Principles for Responsible Investment. In addition, the board has developed supplementary sharper requirements in the areas of child labour, the environment and human rights. 

The policy of socially responsible investment
Besides the application of the Global Compact and the Principles for Responsible Investment makes use of a number of possibilities for making its vision of socially responsible investment and enterprise clear to businesses.
The board can decide, on the basis of the Global Compact principles and the additional conditions in the areas of child labour, the environment and human rights, not to invest in certain businesses. We call this exclusion. The board takes this decision in respect of businesses that produce controversial weapons. The board has decided to debar investments in controversial weapons, such as cluster bombs, land mines, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, weapons containing depleted uranium and white phosphorous. The board can also decide to sell the shares of businesses which, after a dialogue with them, still systematically turn a blind eye to child labour, environmental pollution and serious infringements of human rights, in case the management does not undertake any adequate actions to resolve the problems in line with the Global Compact principles.

> Exclusions are published here.

Rights as a shareholder
Besides not investing in certain companies, we can practice our rights as a shareholder in order to improve the sustainable performance of a company. As a shareholder we have several rights and duties that help us motivate companies to improve their sustainability targets. 

Voting rights
One of the main rights that a shareholder has is voting power on shareholder meetings. The Railway Pension Fund votes at every meeting of the companies in our portfolio. The Fund  has formulated its own voting policy, based on eight corporate governance principles. Corporate governance concerns the manner in which businesses are managed and the manner in which that management is supervised. The point of departure is that executive and non-executive directors must be accountable for the performance of their task.

Voting behaviour
Link to voting behaviour.
Link to the voting policy.

The board can decide, on the basis of the Global Compact principles and the additional conditions in the areas of child labour, the environment and human rights, to engage in an active dialogue with the management of the business in order to persuade the business to improve its performance. We call this engagement. We adopt as a guideline a realistic period within which the first results must become visible. If a business does not make any improvements, we will not invest in it.

Ethical Code for External Management
In making decisions on investment in businesses, debarring businesses or engaging with them, the board makes use, inter alia, of information from independent and specialised bureaus. Part of the portfolio is externally managed, in which case the ethical code for external management of the fund applies.  

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