The move to the single-tier removes this option and pushes up the contribution costs to DB schemes for employers by around 3%.Matthew Arends, a partner at Aon Hewitt, said the increase in cost might make the cost of DB unaffordable for the very few employers still offering the scheme.“We urge them to start considering CDC now,” he said. “It can be a desirable alternative to implementing a DC arrangement in 2016.”Aon Hewitt also called on the government to provide more certainty on the timetable for legislative changes required before CDC can be implemented.The government highlighted CDC as a viable option in pensions minister Steve Webb’s flagship reform – defined ambition, the search for hybrid options between pure DB and DC.In a consultation on defined ambition, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) said the government was inspired by the Dutch and Danish systems, where risk sharing between DC members and employers, such as CDC, is more common.In a speech to the industry in October, Webb also provided further backing for CDC, saying it was one of the core options he envisaged for the future of UK pensions.CDC has received support from several sections of the UK pensions industry, across the political spectrum, although there has been some criticism over the legislative requirements.Opposition party Labour’s representative for pensions, Gregg McClymont, also backed the exploration of CDC last autumn.Despite the Labour government of 2009 ruling out CDC in a white paper, due to the “legislative burden” involved, McClymont went against this and said the current government was right to explore the collective schemes.However, working against all positivity regarding defined ambition, and CDC, has been the abolishment of contracting-out.The government has consistently been under pressure to create the legislative framework for defined ambition and CDC by April 2016, with employers with DB funds expected to close the schemes, and move towards pure DC.However, realistically, with a general election expected by May 2015, the deadline for the legislative agenda would be the parliamentary session this autumn, where defined ambition and CDC join several other government proposals in-wait.Aon Hewitt said it expected the publishing of the government’s response to its consultation on defined ambition shortly.It said it also expected CDC to be enshrined into legislation by 2015, taking effect as contracting-out comes to an end.However, Arends called on the government to provide certainty on the timetable for implementing CDC, in a bid to avoid employers having no alternative to pure DC. UK employers with defined benefit (DB) schemes are being urged to move towards collective defined contribution (CDC) over pure DC, should the cost of their current schemes become unmanageable.Consultancy Aon Hewitt has said employers should start considering the collective savings format in the wake of the abolishment of contracting-out.In 2016, the UK will move towards a single-tier state pension, which removes the current system of a basic pension, topped-up by a second state pension (S2P).Currently, employer-sponsored DB schemes are allowed to contract-out of the S2P, reducing their contribution to the government, in return for providing members with a higher pension.
The new lump-sum pension type introduced by the Danish government in 2012, which requires tax to be paid on contributions rather than payouts, has only had a low level of take-up among Danes so far, according to an analysis from statutory pensions institution ATP.The new old-age pension – or alderspension – effectively replaced the lump-sum pension (kapitalpension) when the government made kapitalpension contributions non-tax deductible.Savers could instead open an alderspension for the first time in 2013, on which they pay a lower rate of tax, but in advance on contributions rather than on the later lump sum paid out when the plan matures.In its analysis, ATP said: “The new old-age pension did not take over in any way from the place where the kapitalpension finished.” The new savings option could hardly be described as a fiasco, it said, but added that a potential breakthrough was slow in coming.Contributions to the new alderspension totalled DKK1.7bn (€228m) in 2013 compared with the DKK17.5bn that had been saved in kapitalpension products the year before, ATP said.Taking account of the tax differences between the two products, the total contributions to the alderspension last year corresponded to a DKK2.7bn inflow to kapitalpension products.“So alderspension savings have only replaced savings in kapitalpension products to a very limited extent,” ATP said.However, it said this did not mean overall pension contributions in the year had fallen, as contributions had instead been directed into fixed-term pensions (ratepensioner) and life-long pensions (livsvarige pensioner).“One of the aims of introducing old-age pensions and phasing out lump-sum pensions was to shift part of pensions taxation forward, so the tax is collected here and now rather than at the payout stage,” ATP said.“It can now be confirmed that, up to now, this has only happened to a limited degree.”ATP said the advance taxation was probably part of the reason why old-age pensions had failed to make a real impression with people so far.Ole Beier Sørensen, chief analyst at ATP, said old-age pensions could be relevant to people outside the low and mid-income groups because they did not affect the basic state pension (folkepension), unlike other pension products.“But for some people, being taxed here and now presumably seems a bigger burden than a tax in 20 or 30 years’ time,” he said.However, ATP also suggested the take-up of the new old-age pension products might simply be delayed.In its analysis, it cited the example of Pensam, which only began offering old-age pensions to its members in mid-2014.Separately, pensions industry association Forsikring & Pension (F&P) renewed its criticism of the government’s decision to make the move to advance taxation on pensions with the introduction of the old-age pension.F&P described the move as a “trick” and said it had saved Denmark from a reprimand from the EU on the size of its budget deficit.The government would have been close to a reprimand from the EU “because of an excessive deficit in government finances, had it not been for the government’s latest tax scam on pensions”, the association said.The “trick” had given the government at least DKK60bn extra in 2013 and 2014, and in effect saved it from an EU reprimand, it said.Per Bremer Rasmussen, managing director at F&P, added: “It is fine that people want to save state finances from an EU reprimand, but that is happening at the expense of future generations’ welfare.”The government should rather focus on creating real growth and save state finances in that way, he said.
The campaign said it was encouraged by the recent UK Law Commission report on fiduciary duties, which suggested pension investors could incorporate ethical investment concerns if it had the backing of its beneficiaries.Tim Colbourn, a faculty member of the University College London’s Institute for Global Health and a USS member, said it was “clearly right” for the trustees of USS to be securing financial returns, which he said was their primary responsibility.However, Colbourn said such an approach need not be at the expense of the membership’s view of ethical considerations.“Short-sighted investment actually overlooks the fact that, in the long term, many ‘ethical’ views may also be financial – for example, there is mounting evidence to suggest fossil fuels are systematically overvalued,” he said.ShareAction’s chief executive Catherine Howarth said USS had initially led the way in responsible investing but fallen short in its efforts since appointing a responsible investment officer in the 1990s.“This could be redressed through undertaking a thorough survey of members’ ethical views, followed by a proper evaluation of whether such views, if acted upon, would cause financial detriment to the fund,” she argued.A spokeswoman for USS said the fund took ESG concerns “very seriously” and had a long history of engaging with companies.“Our approach,” she added, “includes engaging with policymakers to drive change. For example, we regularly meet with civil servants and politicians to help build understanding of the investment considerations of climate change and encourage the development of an appropriate regulatory framework to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”The spokeswoman added that the USS was still evaluating the Law Commission’s report to understand its impact on trustees.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to Listen to USS campaign site The UK’s largest pension scheme, the £44bn (€55.5bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), should not invest in companies its membership deems “morally unacceptable”, according to a new campaign.The campaign, organised by responsible investment NGO ShareAction and the University and College Union, said the fund’s investments included “a host of firms” that raised ethical concerns for its members, including on matters such as climate change and labour standards.In a statement, the ‘Listen to USS!’ also cited exposure to tobacco companies and weapons manufacturers as matters of concern.A spokeswoman for the fund pointed to its track record of considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, and noted that it was working with politicians to “help build understanding” of climate change issues.
UK Investor Forum, Ballast Nedam, JP Morgan Asset Management, Schroders, Union Bancaire Privée, Aviva Investors, Investec Asset ManagementUK Investor Forum – Representatives of two of the UK’s largest pension schemes are joining the board of the UK’s Investor Forum. Chris Hitchen, chief executive at RPMI Railpen, and Virginia Holmes, chair of the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s in-house asset manager, were named as members of the inaugural board. John Kay, the academic behind the eponymous report that recommended the creation of the Investor Forum in 2012, will also join its board, alongside the organisation’s chairman Simon Fraser and executive director Andy Griffiths.Ballast Nedam – Robert Hendrickx has succeeded Lucie Duynstee as director of the pensions bureau of the €850m pension fund of construction company Ballast Nedam. Over the last seven years, Hendricks has served as manager of the pension funds of insurer and asset manager Allianz Nederland Groep. Duynstee has started her own business as a consultant under the name Lutope Pensioenadvies.JP Morgan Asset Management – JPMAM has established a dedicated team to focus on endowments and foundations in the EMEA region. Managing director Kris Jonsson and executive director Sandeep Bhamra have been appointed to newly created roles as client advisers in the Global Endowments & Foundations Group. Jonsson joins from JP Morgan Private Bank, while Bhamra joins from JP Morgan Investor Services. Schroders – James Gautrey, previously global sector specialist, has been promoted to portfolio manager for international equities. Katherine Davidson, global sector specialist, will expand her sector coverage from autos to take responsibility for telecoms from Gautrey. Andre Reichel, previously an equity analyst, has been promoted to global sector specialist for utilities. Giles Money, portfolio manager for the team’s global climate change strategy and global sector specialist for utilities and materials, has decided to leave Schroders to pursue another opportunity.Union Bancaire Privée – Karine Jesiolowski has been appointed to the emerging market bond team as a senior investment specialist. She joins from BNP Paribas Fortis/Fortis Investments Asset Management, where she has been an analyst since 2003. Before then, she spent seven years as an emerging market strategist and portfolio manager at CPR Asset Management, a subsidiary of Amundi.Aviva Investors – Xiaoyu Liu has been appointed to the equity investment team as a fund manager covering emerging market and Asia-Pacific equities. She joins from the emerging market equity team at JP Morgan Asset Management. Before then, she worked at UBS in the global equity team.Investec Asset Management – Simon Brazier will be appointed portfolio manager of the Investec UK Alpha fund on his arrival in November, subject to FCA approval. He will become lead manager of the Investec UK Alpha Fund, and the offshore Investec GSF UK Equity Fund, with Blake Hutchins as alternate manager.
The pair are two of the largest asset managers for UK pension funds, with LGIM having €372.6bn and BlackRock €380.1bn in pensions assets under management, according to figures provided to IPE.TfL’s decision to shift both mandates from LGIM to BlackRock will come as blow to the UK insurer’s in-house manager, which manages more UK pension fund assets than BlackRock, based significantly on its passive equity and LDI solutions.The LDI strategy for TfL will see the scheme’s assets hedged against inflation, interest rate and equity volatility, including some exposure to risk assets to generate investment return, BlackRock said.The TfL pension fund, in addition to its passive equity exposure through BlackRock, also holds close to one-third of its assets in active equity mandates with a range of managers and regions.It has close to 15% in alternative investments, including private equity, hedge funds and global infrastructure.Stephen Field, secretary of the TfL Pension Fund, described BlackRock as a key partner and said it would use the investments to “navigate changing market conditions”.“We have a duty to our fund members to ensure we employ the best investment solutions and consider all possible market risks and opportunities,” he added.Over the year to March 2014, the pension scheme broke the £7bn mark with a £5.9% investment return – 1.7% above its benchmark.Andy Tunningley, head of UK strategic institutional clients at BlackRock, said: “These are demanding times for pension funds, and the varied risks they face are best managed by understanding the true drivers of the underlying asset classes.” The Transport for London (TfL) Pension Fund has moved the majority of its assets from Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) to BlackRock as it takes on equities and liability management mandates.The pension fund had £7.3bn (€10.1bn) in assets at the end of March 2014 and has now signed up for a £1.6bn liability-driven investment (LDI) arrangement with BlackRock and a £2.2bn passive equity portfolio.Depending on the scheme’s investment performance between March 2014 and present, the US asset manager could be managing more than half of the invested assets.The pension scheme, which provides retirement benefits to employees of London’s transport network operator, ends a significant arrangement with LGIM on the two deals and adds to a £100m arrangement with BlackRock for renewable energy exposure.
Provisions for EIOPA approval of pension scheme transfers and for risk assessments to include ESG matters should be among others left out of the final version of the new EU directive on occupational pension funds (IORP II), according to aba, the German pension fund association.The association, like others, set out its key demands for the negotiations between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council on the revision of the directive.The trialogue started on Monday.The Parliament’s proposed version of IORP II was the last to be developed, via the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), which voted on it in late January. The preliminary date for the plenary of the Parliament is 10 May, according to aba. The association set out its main priorities for the negotiations yesterday, doing so in relation to the ECON’s proposal for the dirctive. It makes six main demands, relating to matters such as risk evaluations for pensions and the holistic balance sheet (HBS), the rules for transfers of pension schemes, and the rules for the calculation of technical provisions.According to aba, the ECON’s version of IORP II would allow for the introduction of the HBS “through the back door”.It has therefore called for the Council’s position on “risk evaluation for pensions” (REP), the term aba prefers, to be adopted.It said the ECON and Commission’s version of Article 29 (on risk assessment) were unclear and that the requirements could therefore in practice develop into the HBS, “in particular when EIOPA adds further guidelines”.The implementation details of the risk-evaluation requirements should be left to member states, as per the Council’s text, and “there should be no room for EIOPA guidelines, which could then potentially result in a harmonised quantitative approach for the whole EU”.PensionsEurope this week called for the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) to develop principles-based guidelines instead of an HBS approach, while the Dutch Pensions Federation expressed a similar view.Both are strongly opposed to the HBS and potential associated solvency requirements.The aba’s position on the risk-evaluation requirements for IORPs is at odds with those of several, seemingly mainly UK-based responsible investment organisations, as the German association has called for the deletion of an article in the ECON proposal that recommends pension funds take into account “new or emerging risks, including risks related to climate change, use of resources, the environment, social risks and risks related to the depreciation of assets due to regulatory change”. “A sensible implementation of the rule by IORPs is not possible,” the aba said.UK responsible investment charity ShareAction and 11 other civil society organisations are soliciting support from the European Council for the ECON’s language on integrating ESG factors into investment risk management.No to EIOPA say on transfersThe aba has also opposed an ECON amendment to the Council IORP II proposal relating to calculating technical provisions of liabilities (discount rates).Specifically, it called for the removal of the word “current” inserted before a reference to the requirement that market yields of specified types of bonds should be taken into account when determining the interest rate to be used.The ECON proposal’s provisions for calculating technical provisions based on market value would be harmful for German IORPs, according to aba.It would, for example, lead to results showing significant underfunding, in particular if a nearly risk-free interest rate term structure is used, as was the case in the EIOPA stress tests, and higher volatility. “IORPs have organised their whole structure along a valuation with a fixed tariff discount rate – a change is not that easily possible,” said aba.“That the market interest rate temporarily falls under the interest rate in the business plan does not mean that, in the very long run – which characterises occupational pensions – the promised benefits permanently cannot be financed.”Some other pension industry participants have given mixed feedback on the significance of the specification that the market yields to be taken into account should be “current”.One source thought the amendment was “rather innocuous”, and that the directive had always given a choice of market or expected yields, while a UK policy specialist told IPE it was unclear exactly what the wording meant, or what difference it might make.The German association also called for the final IORP II Directive to differ from the ECON’s version in relation to certain pension scheme transfer aspects.“The rules on the transfer of pension schemes as proposed by the ECON Committee in Article 13 and in the new Article 3a are neither adequate nor will they work in practice,” the aba said.Article 3a should be removed, it said, as it would give inappropriate new powers to EIOPA, namely to approve transfers of pension schemes.“No competencies that can be better addressed by national authorities should be transferred to the EU supervisory authority EIOPA,” it said.If a complete deletion of Article 3a is not possible, it added, then “the future EIOPA involvement ‘at the request of the competent authorities’ should at least be limited to systemic risks”. (aba own emphasis)Concern about Article 3a, on “duty of care”, is also shared by others.Philip Shier, senior actuary at Aon Hewitt* in Dublin, told IPE the article was a late-stage amendment and that the additional assessment by EIOPA “seems unnecessary” and could be viewed as hurdle by those considering transfers.The aba, meanwhile, said a requirement to be fully funded – as proposed in Article 13, paragraph 1 – is only justified for cross-border transfers of pension schemes but not transfers within a member state.Another change called for by the aba is the deletion of all ECON additions regarding intergenerational balance “because this cannot be achieved through supervisory law”.
But the case’s larger significance lies in the existence of a legal time limit – the so-called “statute of repose” – for plaintiffs to file a securities action. Generally, US securities laws provide a three-year time limit for strict liability claims on securities purchased in public offerings, and a five-year time limit for securities fraud claims based on open market purchases. For decades, plaintiffs in US litigation have benefitted from the class action “tolling” rule. Established by the US Supreme Court in the landmark American Pipe case in the 1970s, the rule provided that filing a class action satisfied all time periods governing class members’ individual claims for recovery, including both the statute of limitations and the statute of repose for securities claims. (Under US law, investors are automatically included in a class action unless they actively decide to opt out of the lawsuit.) Accordingly, under the so-called American Pipe rule, investors included in a securities class action could take comfort in their ability to sue individually, should they wish to do so at a later date – for instance, if a prospective class action failed, or they disagreed with a class settlement amount. However, in 2014 a lower court ruled that the class action tolling rule only applied to a one-year statute of limitations for securities claims, not a separate three-year statute of repose. This case related to IndyMac, an American mortgage provider that collapsed a few months before Lehman Brothers in 2008.The 2014 ruling meant that, if a US class action was formally certified by the court after the statute of repose expired, class members would not be able to pursue their own lawsuit later. In addition, if the court refused to grant the case class action status after the repose period expired, investors would not have any remedy under US securities laws, whether in a class action or otherwise. The amicus brief filed by CalPERS asks the US Supreme Court to clarify the legal position, and to reverse the IndyMac decision.Blair Nicholas, a senior partner at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann (BLBG), the law firm that prepared the amicus brief, said: “For over 40 years, investors worldwide have relied on the filing of securities class actions to protect and preserve the timeliness of their claims for recovery of securities fraud damages in US courts. The IndyMac decision has created great uncertainty in the institutional investor community.”Nicholas continued: “Without the critical class action tolling rule, investors must incur the substantial costs and burdens of monitoring hundreds of active securities class action cases across the US to determine whether to take affirmative action in order to prevent their claims from expiring. This is not only costly, it has resulted in wasteful and duplicative litigation that defeats the very purpose of US-style opt-out class actions.”According to the brief itself, these burdens on institutional investors are already occurring, both in the [court] circuits that have held that the American Pipe rule does not apply to the three-year and five-year limitations periods, and in circuits that have not decided the question.Dutch pension provider APG had already supported an amicus brief for the IndyMac case in 2014.A spokesman for APG told IPE: “However, that never reached a verdict by the US Supreme Court, because the case itself was settled. As a result, the uncertainty and lack of clarity regarding tolling the statute of repose persisted. For the investment community it is important that filing a class action not only means tolling the statute of limitations, but also the statute of repose.” The spokesman continued: “The [current] amicus brief demonstrates how the American Pipe rule is part of a sound and efficient securities litigation framework, and is needed to avoid imposing extensive and unnecessary costs and burdens on institutional investors, defendants, and the court system as a whole.”AP1 said the timeframe for investors to bring individual claims for recovery of damages under the US securities laws was “an issue of great importance to the institutional investor community”.The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court on 17 April 2017, with a decision issued by the end of June. More than a dozen European pension funds and asset managers have joined with other prominent institutional investors to seek a legal ruling that could have significant implications for investors seeking compensation through the courts.The funds – including APG, AP1, Industriens Pension, and the Universities Superannuation Scheme – have filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court” brief) with the US Supreme Court asking it to review and overturn a 2014 ruling that placed a one-year time limit on filing class actions.The case, which has significant implications for the institutional investor community, concerns the timeframe for investors to pursue lawsuits seeking recovery of damages under US securities laws. It has been brought by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public pension fund in the US. CalPERS is suing ANZ Securities over losses resulting from the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.In all, 75 investors with more than $4trn (€3.75trn) in assets under management have joined together to back CalPERS. Other European supporters include Aegon Asset Management, Blue Sky Group, MP Investment Management, PGGM Investments, SEB Investment Management, and Storebrand, while the retirement systems for more than a dozen US states including New York and Pennsylvania are supporting the brief.
Aba is concerned that IORP II will push up costs for Germany’s pension funds“The result is that, by implementing IORP II in a national law that caters for full EU harmonisation, you get full harmonisation via EIOPA and that is precisely what was supposed to never happen,” he added.Earlier this year BaFin, the German supervisor, said it had rejected only very few of the 180 guidelines and 3,000 questions and answers that the EIOPA and other EU supervisors had issued so far.Aba said it feared that new requirements coming from EIOPA would not be suitable for German pension funds. It highlighted that the insurance sector dominated pension provision in the EU, as only a few member states had meaningful pension fund sectors. This was reflected in the membership of EIOPA’s decision-making bodies, aba argued.The association has urged the German government to make changes to three articles in particular in the VAG to accommodate the minimum harmonisation intent of IORP II.One of these concerned co-operation between German supervisors and EIOPA, and “does not even envisage government ministries or parliament being able to review which and how EIOPA standards – also with regard to German labour and social law – will be appropriately applied to regulate German IORPs”, aba said.Extensive further EU regulation that was neither suitable for German pension funds nor necessary would ultimately make occupational pension provision more expensive without benefitting pension plan members, added aba.The association also emphasised the importance of the IORP II implementing text needing to be in tune with – or at least not contradict – the Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz (BRSG), the major pension reform law that came into effect in January 2018.Aba’s opinion on the government’s IORP II implementation bill can be found here (in German) The German government’s proposal for implementing the IORP II directive will have “disastrous” consequences if no adjustments are made, according to aba, Germany’s leading occupational pensions trade body.The government’s bill for implementing the EU pension fund legislation was published in early September and was recently debated in the lower house of parliament. It was referred to the Bundestag’s finance committee, which is to hold a hearing on it in early November.In aba’s view, the government’s approach was problematic because it sought to implement the rules within the framework of Germany’s insurance supervision law (VAG), which is set up to regulate the insurance industry in accordance with the EU “full harmonisation” approach of Solvency II.IORP II, however, was about “minimum harmonisation” across the EU, aba said, but this was so far not reflected in the VAG. Minimum harmonisation gives EU member states greater flexibility in how they implement the directive, in light of how occupational pension schemes vary across member states and their close links with national labour and tax laws. The association said Germany should not just implement the individiual articles of IORP II, but also its “spirit”.Full harmonisation, explained aba’s secretary general Klaus Stiefermann, meant that “every EIOPA guideline, every recommendation has to be adopted by the German supervisor”.
Gerard Groten, chair of SPF, said that ever stricter local and European legislation were the main reason for the merger.Peter-Paul Witte, SPOV’s chair, emphasised the close link between both sectors, and noted that the merger would boost labour mobility.Both pension funds said the merger was supported by their respective accountability body, supervisory board (RvT) as well as trade unions and employers.A funding difference is unlikely to be in the way of a merger, as the coverage ratio of SPF and SPOV stood at 109.4% and 107.1%, respectively, at September-end.In their respective annual reports for 2018, the asset owners said the merged scheme must carry out its administration in house as of 2021.SPF Beheer is to merge with the new pension fund and will be liquidated subsequently. The €18bn Dutch pension fund for the railways sector (SPF) and the €5bn scheme for public transport (SPOV) announced they would merge as of 1 April.The new pension fund, Rail en Openbaar Vervoer, based on its assets, is to become the 13th largest scheme in the Netherlands, with 100,000 participants, affiliated with 90 employers.The announcement came after both schemes said they were discussing a potential merger for a second time last year.Earlier merger talks collapsed in 2016 because of issues such as different board culture, insufficient faith in the joint pensions provider and asset manager SPF Beheer, as well as disappointing results on cost saving.
Dutch trade unions for government staff have urged social affairs’ minister Wouter Koolmees to seek a solution against deteriorating prospects for pensions accrual at the civil service scheme ABP.The unions said the annual pensions accrual could decrease by 12% – from the tax-facilitated level of 1.875% to 1.647% – while premiums could rise significantly in 2021.Bert de Haas, trustee at union FNV, attributed the accrual cut to a decrease of the discount rate for future returns.As a consequence of reduced parameters for the various asset classes, the discount rate is to drop from 2.8% to 2.4% next year. In the opinion of the unions, the reduced accrual rate is unacceptable, as civil servants and teachters would no longer be able to accrue a pension of 80% of their average salary within 42 years.The unions also warned the minister against ABP’s intention to increase the scheme’s contribution to a costs-covering level.They argued that the current premium of 24.9% would have to rise to approximately 40% as a consequence.“We want to show that it is all about very far-reaching adjustments, leading to either very high costs or unacceptable target reductions,” said De Haas.ABP said it would publish next year’s contribution level later this month. A spokeswoman said it was too early to provide clarity about the contribution for 2021, as the scheme’s board still had to discuss the matter.During the past three years, ABP’s contribution has gradually risen from 18.8% of the pensionable salary in 2016 to 24.9% in 2018.The increase was largely caused by an earlier reduction of the discount rate for future returns from 3.6% to 2.8%.