SPH, the €9.3bn occupational pension fund for general practitioners in the Netherlands, has said it will increase pension rights by 3.45% in light of its “favourable” financial position. In addition, it plans to cut its contribution for self-employed participants by 9% to a maximum of €20,910, due to the reduction of the tax-facilitated annual pensions accrual, according to the scheme’s newsletter.SPH has a nominal coverage ratio of approximately 140% and is one of the three best-performing pension funds in the Netherlands.The GPs’ scheme attributed the premium reduction in particular to the increase of the official retirement age to 67, in combination with the new cap of tax-facilitated accrual at a salary of €100,000. However, the pension fund also pointed out that the effects of low interest rates and rising longevity would partially offset the benefit of the reduced contribution.The contribution level for employed and deputy GPs will not change, remaining at just over 17% of the pensionable salary.In SPH’s most recent newsletter, chairman Johan Reesink said the pension fund was satisfied with the Netherlands’ new financial assessment framework (FTK), as it has “increased the solidity of the pensions system and improved its ability to cope with downward shocks”.However, he also lamented the higher interest rates and criticised the assumptions for returns that have been set for establishing contributions and indexation.“Working with assumptions that subsequently turn out to be different has caused a lot of unrest and anger, as well as a strong drop in confidence in the pensions sector,” he said.In other news, the €300m Total Pension Fund Netherlands has outsourced its pensions administration to Aon Hewitt as of 1 January.It cited the “strongly increased complexity of pensions provision” and, in its wake, the “increased vulnerability” of its three-strong pensions bureau.Until recently, the pension fund carried out the administration in-house.Earlier, it had placed its asset management with BlackRock.Total Pension Fund Netherlands has approximately 650 active participants, 270 deferred members and 375 pensioners.
TV advertising spend in the UK reached a new high of £5.3 billion (€6.2 billion) in the UK last year, bolstered by a 12.6% growth in video-on-demand revenue.This is according to figures released by advertising trade body the Advertising Association/WARC, which said that TV’s share of overall ad spend in the UK has held steady at 25% over the last decade.The Expenditure Report said that total UK advertising spend grew 3.7% to reach £21.4bn in 2016, the seventh consecutive year of market growth.In Q4 total UK ad spend reached £5.8bn, a rise of 3.9% year-on-year and the highest grossing quarter on record, according to the study.Digital formats continued to drive growth last year, with internet ad spend up by 13.4% to £10.3bn. Mobile spend reached £3.9bn.“In real terms, after accounting for inflation, UK ad spend topped its pre-recession peak for the first time during both the final quarter and for 2016 as a whole. Forecasts for the next two years indicate continued growth of 2.5% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2018,” according to the report.