Pensioenfonds PGB

“Sharing knowledge and joining forces is vital to the further development of the pension system”

In 2019, after an initial trial period of a year, Pensioenfonds PGB renewed their partner contract with Netspar for four years. Chairman Jochem Dijckmeester says, “Being part of the Netspar network proved very valuable. With science as a foundation, we can join forces as an industry and share knowledge and expertise to advance everyone’s interests. That is important for participants, and thus in the interests of the entire industry, as well as for constantly working on improvements to a future-proof pension system.”

“Besides the fact that Netspar facilitates discussions among academics, professional practitioners, and policymakers, our participation in Netspar has an intrinsic added value for us as a pension fund. Pensioenfonds PGB has a strong growth ambition that prioritizes the interests of employers and participants. Netspar provides knowledge and opportunities for us as a board and administrator to take closely coordinated action with that same knowledge base. Insights from the research being done help us make well-considered decisions with regard to further developing our products and services and coming up with new products and services we might offer in the future.”

Reciprocal Relationship

Knowledge sharing is a critical, primary focus of Pensioenfonds PGB, and it works both ways. “As a multi-sectoral pension fund, we are in a distinctive position,” explains Dijckmeester. “It gives us access to knowledge and expertise we are eager to share with others. The Netspar project groups, in particular, provide an opportunity for sharing expertise on important topical themes for the pension industry. The selection of theme projects also provides us with an opportunity to critically examine which projects might contribute to what we do at Pensioenfonds PGB, and we are able, as a partner, to help sharpen the research questions. That collaboration between research and practice has tremendous added value.”

Staff Involvement

Senior policy adviser Siert Vos represents Pensioenfonds PGB on the Netspar Partner Research Council. “Involving and informing the board and staff members of both the management office and the administrative organization was essential to making the most of this partnership,” he says. “It did take quite a bit of effort at first to make our membership, internally, aware of Netspar’s work. We did this by proactively informing the staff about papers and meetings, for instance. This approach is bearing fruit; there’s now a level of recognition. A growing number of our employees are aware of our partnership with Netspar, and we are seeing more and more of them participate in its research, meetings, and webinars.”

Long View

“Netspar looks beyond the current Dutch pension system, viewing the issues surrounding retirement and old age from a broader perspective. That is exceedingly important for the future and for getting a better picture of what awaits us,” Dijckmeester concludes. “Tools such as webinars and knowledge seminars by researchers are useful for conveying that scientific knowledge and for testing it in practice. Research and professional practice reinforce one another, allowing us to see farther.”

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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