In 2019, Pensioenfonds PGB made more investments with a socially responsible or sustainable objective. These so-called ‘impact investments’ increased from € 194.2 million as at year-end 2018, to € 654.4 million as at year-end 2019. This can be found in the annual Socially Responsible Investing report of Pensioenfonds PGB, published today.
The large increase is mainly due to new investments in green bonds. These are loans to governments or businesses with the objective of financing sustainable projects. Last year, Pensioenfonds PGB participated in the first green government loan of the Dutch government. As at year-end 2019, the value of this investment was € 364.2 million.
The CO2 footprint of the investments remained more or less the same in 2019. Only the average greenhouse gas emissions relating to investments in listed companies were taken into account in the survey.
Until now, Pensioenfonds PGB did not have a specific policy in place to lower the footprint. It is however our ambition to do so from this year, according to board member Rob Heerkens (asset and liability management). “We want to contribute to the Paris Climate Agreement by decreasing our footprint. How we will do this, will be worked out in more detail in 2020”, he says in the 2019 annual Socially Responsible Investing report.
You can read the complete 2019 annual Socially Responsible Investing report here
(in Dutch only). The main points can be found in the theme edition
(in Dutch only) of our Annual Report magazine.
Review of 2019
In addition to the annual Socially Responsible Investing report, the 2019 Annual Report of Pensioenfonds PGB has also been published. In the Annual Report, chairman Jochem Dijckmeester says that Pensioenfonds PGB, like other pension funds, has had a difficult start in 2020 due to the consequences of the corona pandemic.
In 2019, with a return of 16% the fall in interest rates could still be absorbed. In the first months of this year however, the pension fund was hit from two sides: the interest rates dropped even further and share prices fell sharply.
Preview of 2020
Due to these developments, the outlook is grim. The board has concerns about the financial situation, although it is still too early to draw conclusions about the chance of a reduction of pensions in 2021. This is determined by the situation at the end of the year.
The chance that the board will not have to decide on an extra substantial increase of premiums in 2021, has almost disappeared due to the changed circumstances.
With regard to the future of the Dutch pension system, the board states in the Annual Report that it is particularly important that the ultimate result is an easy-to-understand pension system, characterised by solidarity and risk sharing, allowing a return of confidence in pensions.
You can read the 2019 Annual Report of Pension here (in Dutch only)