Both the Future Pensions Act (WTP) and the intended transition to a new pension scheme are again undoubtedly the most important underlying, direction-determining dossiers for the Board in 2022. More will become clear in 2022 when employer DSM shares its future pension vision with PDN, and when social partners make concrete choices within the framework of the WTP. With respect to the WTP, the steering committee will manage the overall process. The committee will comprise a delegation of the PDN Board and social partners. The PDN Board will also continue to direct the fund itself, taking decisions in a timely manner, with the fund bodies and stakeholders remaining well connected. The financial assessment framework (FTK) transition and the Van Dijk motion are topics that affect the pension agreement. This concerns the possible application of an adjusted financial assessment framework, as a growth track toward the new pension scheme, which enables earlier indexation and discounting. This requires sound preparation for decision-making by the Board, in which the interests of all stakeholders will need to be carefully considered. The implementation aspects will also remain a priority in 2022 to safeguard robust future implementation. As well as continuing the robust implementation of the current pension scheme, preparations for implementing the future pension schemes as a consequence of the WT will be prioritized.
Communication will play a more important role than ever in 2022. There will be a major focus on involving members in the envisaged pension scheme change and the Future Pensions Act transition process. What will change and why? How will the changes affect me? We will also be using new media, such as podcasts. An additional priority will be to manage member expectations of pension provision and payments in the existing pension scheme, particularly relating to indexation. The 2022-2025 Communication Strategy is being rolled out in 2022, with a clear PDN positioning. This communication strategy will also focus on a broader target group than the members, deferred members, and pension beneficiaries so that it also reaches other fund stakeholders.
The sustainability policy for investments will be a priority for the Board again in 2022. Following the detailing of the policy, which took place in 2021, further steps can be taken in 2022 to introduce the tightened ambitions. Stakeholders will also receive more information on the PDN sustainability policy and its actual impact. The Board believes in the added value that pension funds can create in this area, by investing the considerable sums entrusted to them in a socially responsible and sustainable way. This is not only in line with fund member expectations, but is also a good match for the sustainability vision of DSM, the biggest employer.
In early 2022, the world was shocked by Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. The pension fund is deeply concerned about this situation. In addition to the humanitarian ramifications, the conflict in Ukraine is also having an economic impact. The pension fund does not invest in bonds issued by the Russian State. The pension fund has invested (as of Q1 2022) a very small part of its portfolio (less than 0.02%) in Russian and Ukrainian companies. This means that the direct impact on the portfolio is small. The pension fund has tightened its exclusion policy on this by also excluding all Russian companies. Russian government bonds were already excluded on the basis of EU sanctions.
The fund has conducted various internal strategy studies over the past decade. The anticipated Future Pensions Act has resulted in a renewed focus on strategic reorientation. The PDN initiatives took on a new dimension in late 2021 when DSM, PDN’s biggest affiliated company and owner of DPS, informed the fund that a strategic reorientation had started and asked the fund whether it could collaborate in this or in parts of this. It is expected that PDN’s future vision will demand a lot of attention and priority in 2022.