Investment policy

The purpose of our investment policy is to safeguard the pensions and generate adequate returns. This ensures the pensions can continue to be paid out and increased in line with prices.

How does our investment policy work?

The employer pays the pension contributions to our pension fund. We invest the contributions in the most effective way possible. We do this as follows:

1. We diversify the risks in our investments

We do this by dividing the investment portfolio into two parts: the matching portfolio and the return portfolio

Matching portfolio

The matching portfolio is used to hedge risk and generate sufficient returns to pay the pensions both now and in the future. The value of the pension obligations changes constantly due to interest rate movements. The duration of the matching portfolio is linked to the duration of the obligations so that the matching portfolio's return tracks the increase in the obligations. We do this by investing in government bonds, other bonds and interest rate swaps.

Return portfolio

The return portfolio is used to generate sufficient returns to increase the pensions annually in line with prices (indexation). These investments carry a greater risk. This portfolio invests in equities and corporate bonds, for example.

2. We pursue a dynamic investment policy

Our financial position determines the amount of risk we take. Our financial position is determined by our funding ratio. When the funding ratio is low, we take less risk and invest less in the return portfolio. We also take less risk when the funding ratio is very high, because it is easier for us to achieve our ambitions in that situation. At such times, we invest more in the matching portfolio. We may adjust the allocation ratio between the return portfolio and the matching portfolio at pre-determined times during the year.

3. We take sustainability into account

We aim to provide good pensions for our pensioners and participants. When we make investment decisions, we do more than look at the financial information available on a company. We assess the company's sustainability record too, and focus in particular on the environment, society and governance. These are known as the ESG criteria. You can learn all about this on our page on responsible investment.

Who is responsible for the investments?

Our Board is responsible for the investment process, the investment portfolio and the organisation of the investments. In addition:

  • We have a small team of investment professionals with broad-based expertise who work closely with strategic specialist partners.

  • The Asset Management and Balance Sheet Management Committee advises the Board on all aspects of the strategic investment policy.

  • We arrange for various external asset managers to invest on our behalf. Each of these asset managers has signed a contract with us for the management of part of the investment portfolio. Our team of investment professionals oversees the agreements that are reached.

More information

To find out more about the objective, organisation and implementation of our investment policy, see our Statement of Investment Principles.