Coronavirus causes falling stock prices and falling funding ratio

19 March 2020

The Corona virus outbreak also affects the financial situation of our fund

At the end of February, NPF's market interest coverage ratio was 115.1% and the policy coverage ratio was 120.5%. The policy funding ratio was well above the required capital of 115.6%. Recent developments in the financial markets with unprecedented declines in equity prices also hit our strong financial position. The market interest coverage ratio (the funding ratio on which NPF sets financial policy) has fallen by an expected more than 5% in two weeks. Because the markets are so volatile, this too is a highly variable rate.

Many developments in recent weeks

The coronavirus is now spreading in Europe. There have been calls to work from home as much as possible, a number of industries have to keep their doors closed, stock market prices are falling sharply, hoarding is taking place and a support package of measures has now been launched to minimize the negative economic impact of the coronavirus.

Falling stock market prices are hitting the investment returns of pension funds. NPF's investment policy is focused on the long term. This means that we are not panicked by the developments in recent weeks, but of course we are following developments closely. And if necessary, the board will take action.

What does this mean for you?

Pension payments

Pensions are scheduled to be paid on March 25. The fund has sufficient cash in hand to continue paying pensions. Whether indexation can take place will be decided in November. At the moment there is no room for indexation due to external developments, but we certainly do not need to cut pensions yet either.

Pension entitlements

When you retire, the pension entitlements are converted into a pension. This pension will be paid out by NPF.

IDC capitals

Due to the sharply lower stock prices, the value of your IDC capital may have decreased significantly in recent weeks. If you are just before retirement, it may be wise to consider whether a variable benefit is an option for you at this time. Most of your retirement capital will then remain invested. As a result, you are now less affected by the current low stock market prices. You can, of course, discuss this with an advisor.

What other measures have we taken

The board will meet by telephone at least weekly for as long as necessary. The chairman of the board has almost daily telephone contact with the executive board members. The employees of the implementing organization work from home as much as possible to ensure continuity of operations. Our outsourcing partners and consultants also work from home as much as possible.