Recent newspaper reports on PDN’s historical financial developments, pension increases, a complaint from a pensioner, and the functioning of the Board present a good opportunity to recap some facts.
Past Boards have reached decisions that – in hindsight – were not without fault, but which were made based on the knowledge at the time the decision was made. When determining the pension scheme, social partners (DSM and the labor unions) take into account the ambition to be able to increase pensions and the risk that pensions may have to be reduced. The pension fund’s Board subsequently plans investments in a way that this ambition can be achieved, according to a prevailing economic outlook. As a result, PDN had hedged the interest rate risk only to a limited extent. However, as interest rates – contrary to the prevailing economic outlook – fell so sharply, PDN’s financial position deteriorated sharply. While successive Boards continuously monitored the policy, they had few opportunities to amend it, as this would affect the ambition to increase pensions. Incidentally, the limited hedging of interest rate risk actually resulted in PDN’s funding level rising sharply in 2022, bringing an increase back into the picture.
For more information, please refer to the article in PDN Magazine No 8 about investing.
The process relating to pension increases in 2022 was explained in a previous news item entitled ‘PDN and increasing pensions’. You can read this item here.
PDN takes all complaints very seriously and makes every effort to resolve them. PDN communicates about complaints directly with the member concerned and will never comment on an individual complaint to or via the media.
One of PDN’s guiding principles in its policy is to balance the interests of all members. This means that the interests of all members (current employees, former employees, as well as pensioners) are weighed equally in all decisions. This is also reviewed by the regulator.
PDN’s Board has eight members: four members appointed by DSM Nederland, two members nominated by the DSM Central Works Council, and two board members elected from and by the pensioners. The Chairman is usually elected by the Board from among the employer’s representatives. The Vice-chairman is elected from among the employee and pensioner representatives. Before being appointed, each Board member is individually assessed on their knowledge, managerial skills, and trustworthiness by the internal and external regulator, i.e. the Supervisory Board and De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). Each individual Board member has a duty and responsibility to reach a balanced decision in the best interest of the members, and this decision is independent and not bound by any instructions. Each vote by each Board member carries the same weight. PDN’s Supervisory Board oversees the functioning of the Board. As regards its policy, the Board is accountable to the Accountability Council.
For more information, please visit PDN’s website.