Profile of Stichting Pensioenfonds Openbaar Vervoer

Stichting Pensioenfonds Openbaar Vervoer (SPOV) offers companies, employees and former employees in the public transport sector a good, modern pension scheme. The scheme is a collectively defined benefit plan, targeting a pension reflecting average salary levels. The scheme offers members full flexibility and income security. Scheme members accumulate old-age and surviving dependants' pensions. Read the overview of key features of SPOV pension scheme.
 
With assets under management of EUR 3.5 billion and slightly less than 11,000 members, over 5,000 former members and more than 10,000 pensioners, SPOV is a medium-sized pension fund. The fund is a non-compulsory, sector-wide pension fund for companies falling under the Public Transportation cao (Collective Labour Agreement) and is a member of the Vereniging van Bedrijfstakpensioenfondsen (Association of Industry-Wide Pension Funds, VB).

Investment policy
The investment policy of Stichting Pensioenfonds Openbaar Vervoer is geared towards achieving a maximum investment result over the long term, with a specified risk profile. The policy also seeks to generate additional return in the tactical portfolios in the short term. The Asset Liability Management study (ALM) is the most important source of investment policy input. This is a study that matches the assets and liabilities as closely as possible, to produce a spread across the various investment categories in the portfolio. This is also referred to as the “asset allocation” or “investment mix”. SPOV’s investment policy also embraces social responsibility, since it is in SPOV’s interests to engage in socially responsible entrepreneurship of listed funds.
Stichting Pensioenfonds Openbaar Vervoer does not invest in hedge funds. This is because the potential benefit of positive, stable returns is outweighed by the high costs, the lack of clarity about where the investment is actually being made, the limited opportunities for monitoring the risks and limited access to genuinely skilled managers.
 
Key figures 
Year-end  2015  2014 2013 2012 2011
Number of pensioners  11,354 11,148 10,724 10,308 9,841
Number of members  10,320 10,568 10,836 11,093 11,429
Number of non-active members  5,496 5,266 5,420 5,507 5,556
Member companies  27 26 32 33 35
Pension payments (x EUR 1 million)  101 99 99 100 98
Pension contributions (x EURO 1 million)  84 85 89 81 77
Investments (x EUR 1 million)  3,413 3,457  3,003 2,935 2,613
Investments result (x EUR 1 million)  -26 463  80 343 183
Return on investments  -1,1% 15.9%  2.9% 13.0% 7.6%
Provision for pension commitments(x EUR 1 million)  3,281 3,140  2,679 2,785 2,534
Funding ratio109,9%  103,8% 109.9% 112% 105% 103%
Indexing of pensions of non-active members and Pensioners at 1 January  0,00% 0.00%  0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Indexing of active members  0,00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Basic scheme pension contribution  17,9% 17.9%  17.9% 17.4% 16.4%
Contribution-free allowance (in EUR)  13,545 13,449 13,227 13,062 12,898

Socially responsible investment
An important element of the investment policy of SPOV is socially responsible investment (SRI). The board has embraced the principles of the United Nations Global Compact as a basis for its SRI policy and signed the Principles for Responsible Investment. In addition, the board has developed supplementary sharper requirements in the areas of child labour, the environment, human rights and excessive compensation. The board has decided to debar investments in controversial weapons, such as cluster bombs, land mines, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, weapons containing depleted uranium and white phosphorous.

The policy of socially responsible investment
Besides the application of the Global Compact and the Principles for Responsible Investment SPOV makes use of a number of possibilities for making its vision of socially responsible investment and enterprise clear to businesses.

Exclusion
The board can decide, on the basis of the Global Compact principles and the additional conditions in the areas of child labour, the environment and human rights, not to invest in certain businesses. We call this exclusion. The board takes this decision in respect of businesses that produce controversial weapons. The board can also decide to sell the shares of businesses which, after a dialogue with them, still systematically turn a blind eye to child labour, environmental pollution and serious infringements of human rights, and the shares of businesses whose management does not undertake any adequate actions to resolve the problems in line with the Global Compact principles.
> Exclusions are published here.

Rights as a shareholder
Besides not investing in certain companies, we can practice our rights as a shareholder in order to improve the sustainable performance of a company. As a shareholder we have several rights and duties that help us motivate companies to improve their sustainability targets. 

Voting rights
One of the main rights that a shareholder has is voting power on shareholder meetings. The Public Transport Pension Fund votes at every meeting of the companies in our portfolio. The fund has formulated its own voting policy, based on eight corporate governance principles. Corporate governance concerns the manner in which businesses are managed and the manner in which that management is supervised. The point of departure is that executive and non-executive directors must be accountable for the performance of their task.  

Voting behaviour  
Link to voting behaviour.
Link to the voting policy.

Engagement
The board can decide, on the basis of the Global Compact principles and the additional conditions in the areas of child labour, the environment and human rights, to engage in an active dialogue with the management of the business in order to persuade the business to improve its performance. We call this engagement. We adopt as a guideline a realistic period within which the first results must become visible. If a business does not make any improvements, we will not invest in it.

Ethical Code for External Management
In making decisions on investment in businesses, debarring businesses or engaging with them, the board makes use, inter alia, of information from independent and specialised bureaus. Part of the portfolio is externally managed, in which case the ethical code for external management of the fund applies. 

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