Belgium’s 201 professional pension funds had 1,734,000 members at the end of 2017, a 4% increase on the corresponding period of last year, according to figures published on Friday by the federal market authority, FSMA. These pension funds accounted for a total of 35.1 billion euros, an increase of 18% compared to 2016.
The increase in the total amount held by the pension funds (+5.3 billion euros) is mainly the result of transfers of assets from foreign pension funds. Professional funds that manage foreign pension plans saw their share climb to 8.9 billion euros, an increase of +3.8 billion, the FSMA explains.
About three-quarters (73%) of the assets were placed in collective investment funds, mainly equity and bond funds. Another 11% were invested directly in equities and 9% in shares.
The coverage rate went down to 124%, the low interest rates having obliged pension funds to set aside higher amounts to be able to honour their future pension obligations, FSMA said.
Generally, the number of professional pension funds was stable (+2).