We can imagine that you have questions about how coronavirus will affect your pension. That is why we have listed the main questions that are most frequently asked.
Questions and answers
- I wish to take early retirement. How soon can I retire?
You can submit a request for early retirement. The pension scheme rules specify how many months advance notice you need to give us.
- I do not wish to retire yet. How do I arrange this?
You can defer the termination date of your insurance policy only if you submit a request for this before the termination date. You and your partner can submit a request that has been signed by both of you.
If you are incapacitated for work, you will not be able to defer the retirement date in all cases. Please consult the pension scheme rules to see the options that are available to you.
- How will the Reduction of Working Hours Scheme affect my pension accrual?
The Reduction of Working Hours Scheme may affect your pension accrual. It all depends on whether your employer has chosen to continue paying the premiums, on the basis of the salary you earned before the reduction in working hours.
The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration gives employers the opportunity to opt for pension accrual over the full salary, as it was before the reduction of working hours scheme was implemented. To find out more about this, please read the Tax and Custom Administration’s ‘Question and Answer 20-004’ section.
- Is my pension plan covered by a guarantee scheme?
Your pension provider’s pension scheme is subject to supervision by the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). The main objective of this is to prevent insurers from falling into financial difficulties. This supervision and the ‘Dutch Recovery and Resolution (Insurers) Act (Wet herstel en afwikkeling van verzekeraars), ensures the effect of a guarantee scheme (i.e. protection of the insured party).
One of the most important criteria in measuring an insurer’s financial health is its solvency position. Zwitserleven’s parent company, VIVAT NV, had a solvency ratio of 170% as of the end of December 2019. This is far more than what is legally required for Zwitserleven to be able to meet its insurance agreement obligations.
- How do the falling share prices impact my invested pension assets?
How they impact your invested pension assets depends on your asset mix. The value of the equity funds in your asset mix has fallen because of the price drops. For both HorizonBeleggen and ProfielBeleggen, Zwitserleven invests pension capital on the basis of the ‘life cycle model’.
The asset mix of equities, property shares, corporate bonds and government bonds depends on the years remaining until the retirement date. This is how Zwitserleven ensures that the risks of the investments decrease as the retirement age draws nearer. Just before retirement, we mainly invest in bonds.
Conversely, if your retirement date is in the distant future, it is important that we capitalise on the opportunities for high returns. At this stage of the life cycle, the asset mix therefore largely consists of equities.
- What can I do?
- I receive a pension income from Zwitserleven; will anything change?
No. If you are entitled to a pension income from Zwitserleven, you will receive it on the regular dates. You will find these on our website.
- My Zwitserleven pension is due to commence in May 2020, but I have not yet received a proposal. When will I receive the proposal
You will receive a proposal at least four weeks before your retirement date. You will receive the proposal by email. If you have not notified us of your email address, please contact us at 020-3478894.
- I want to send documents containing my pension choice to Zwitserleven. What is the best way to do this?
We prefer to receive the documents containing your pension choice through our website zwitserleven.nl/expiratie. Since the coronavirus measures may delay the handling of physical post, you should send your documents in time.
- Do Zwitserleven’s pension insurance terms & conditions contain an exclusion for death occurring when the person concerned is in a region that is subject to negative travel advice issued by the government authorities?
Our terms & conditions do not contain any coronavirus exclusions. Zwitserleven’s cover policy is not based on travel advice issued by the Dutch government. This means that ‘negative’ travel advice as such (orange, red) does not result in exclusion from cover.
Zwitserleven uses the cover restrictions generally applied in the market (see the General Group Insurance Terms & Conditions and the Supplementary Pension Insurance Terms & Conditions), which are therefore highly limited. The Group Insurance and Supplementary Terms & Conditions are available here.
- Does this also apply to Group Term Life Insurance?
Yes, this also applies to Group Term Life Insurance. See Article 8 of the General Terms & Conditions for group term life insurance. Your employer will receive the payment from Zwitserleven. Your employer will find the Group Insurance and Supplementary Terms & Conditions with the contract.
This article is published on 19 March 2020