To be able to pay pensions every month, pension contributions alone do not suffice. A pension fund must invest. By investing, we make a profit. That is the return. In the long term, investments yield more return than a savings account. The return indicates what the investment yielded and is expressed as a percentage.
SPF has split the investments into a matching portfolio and a return portfolio.
The objective of the matching portfolio is to achieve a favorable risk/return profile with bonds that have a high credit rating, thus pursuing a high degree of certainty. This covers part of the interest rate risk.
The objective of the return portfolio is to realize a sufficient return in order to achieve the indexation ambition. Through an active policy, we try to achieve additional returns after costs or a lower risk profile within the permitted risk margin.
To reduce risk, SPF spreads its investments over various categories, including:
In these loans, which are mainly made to governments, the interest rate and repayments are linked to inflation. This means you are compensated for actual inflation and a real yield is thus recorded.
The normal term of these loans, which are made to businesses with a good credit rating, is relatively short (4-5 years). Because of the good credit rating, the chance that the loans will be repaid with interest is very high and the risk is low.
Money is lent in this way to governments and businesses worldwide. The return (so-called interest payment) is generally stable. SPF also invests in Dutch private mortgages.
This is a worldwide interest in the capital of a company. Although higher returns can be expected in the longer term than on bonds, the risk is relatively high.
This is an asset class from which an attractive return is expected in the medium term. The investments within this sub-portfolio therefore aim for an attractive return without being dependent on so-called benchmarks (market indices, such as the AEX), and include investments in microfinance, infrastructure, and commodities.
Investments in real estate can be made in two ways: directly (houses, shops, and offices) and indirectly (shares in real estate funds). SPF only invests in indirect real estate worldwide.
The above investments are made in different currencies. As the value of the currency may rise or fall against the euro, the return on the internationally diversified portfolio consists partly of currency returns. To limit the impact of currencies on the fund’s performance in euros, we use currency overlay, by which the fund hedges itself against exchange rate movements.
The interest rate sensitivity of the pension commitments differs from the investments, resulting in an interest rate risk. To limit this risk, part of the interest rate risk is hedged. For this purpose, investments are made in fixed-income securities and we use derivatives. The interest rate overlay also determines part of the fund’s return.
Although we much prefer seeing positive returns, there is no need for you to worry about negative returns. SPF invests with a long horizon. Fluctuations are expected to be compensated over the years.