Pressure on Dutch pension funds is expected for them to deploy a combined total of €1.5trn to assist ailing companies and participants, if the COVID-19 pandemic causes a drawn-out economic recession, a consultant has warned.In a blog on his company’s website, Sander Baars, senior partner at Montae, said that such a scenario would raise pressing questions about the distribution of scarce public and private assets, including pensions.“In particular in these extreme conditions, one might expect that pension funds offer to help […] and not only by temporarily granting delayed payment of contributions,” he said.Baars suggested that pension funds could support participants and affiliated firms by ceasing cashing in premium payments as well as pension accruals for now. This would give participants financial leeway, for example in case a partner loses income, and offers companies the opportunity to increase their profitability and employment as a consequence of reduced salary costs, he said.The consultant added that companies could also use their “non-spent” pension contributions for investment or price reductions in order to stay competitive.He suggested that workers in critical financial need should be given the option to take out a lump sum from their pension entitlements, as will become possible for people at retirement in the new pension system.According to Baars, schemes for the hospitality and catering, and retail industries, for instance, could use their assets to save troubled firms in their respective sectors.The same goes for company pension funds with a sponsor in need of government support, such as KLM, he added.“Pension funds could assist companies with liquidity problems by offering bridging loans, whether or not government-backed,” he continued.“Investments in firms and funds in their own sector will also generate income from interest and dividend for industry-wide schemes.”Baars said that a pension fund’s helping hand can increase support among their participants, and also benefits schemes themselves, “as they depend on healthy companies and workers who can pay their premiums”.“In addition, it offers pension funds the chance to engage with their clients, improving their insight into the needs of participants and employers”.He said he expected politicians and society would demand a contribution from the pensions sector.“The Dutch government is borrowing dozens of billions of euros, which need to be paid back, which results in less assets invested in the local economy.”Baars predicted that the debate about increasing local investment will reignite, “including questions [on] why pension funds invest in a US IT firm, and not in crucial Dutch industries that have relocated to China, such as for the manufacturing of medicines”.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.
Guinness “Greatest of the Streets” National Play-offs…The Guinness “Greatest of the Streets” national championship came to a close on Saturday when Gold is Money secured the title to be crowned Guyana’s “Greatest in the Streets” at the Providence Stadium.Colours Boutique Creanna Damon hands over the first prize and trophy to the West Front Road Gold is Money representative in the presence of his teammates and Guinness Brand Manager Lee Baptiste (left) on SaturdayThe Georgetown Zone Champions became the fourth team to win both their zone and national titles after completing a commanding 4-0 win over former champs Sparta Boss.Deon Alfred led the eventual victors with a hat-trick, while Randolf Wagner accounted for the other goal. Wagner broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute after the finalists battled to a goalless first half.Alfred then doubled the lead with a successful 33rd minute strike. Three minutes later, he recorded a Guinness Goal, which bumped the lead to four, with only two minutes left on the clock.Earlier in the night, Georgetown won the latest round of street football against Linden after prevailing in both semi-finals.2018 Linden Zone champions Silver Bullets were demolished by Gold is Money in their semi-final, being on the receiving end of a 7-0 whipping. In that match, Alfred recorded his first hat-trick of the night.Hubert Pedro also constructed a hat-trick in that game as well while Jamal Pedro netted the final goal of the match. In the other semi-final, Sparta Boss squeezed past 2017 champs Dave and Celena’s All-Stars 2-1.Meanwhile, in the third-place play-off, Silver Bullets edged Dave and Celena’s All-Stars 2-1.Gold is Money carted off $500,000 while Sparta Boss pocketed $250,000, Silver Bullets $200,000 and Dave & Celena’s $100,000.