The big red cross on the cover of Time Magazine crossing out the figure 2020 was telling disapproving and hopeful in the same time. Managing this together successfully, there is reason to be grateful.
In my view, 2020 has been an exceptional year. Exceptional in geopolitical terms with the tense relationship between America and China, the elections in the United States, the possible impact of Brexit and the European budget including the COVID-19 Recovery Fund. With all this, the virus has made things incredibly difficult for us. Financial markets that experienced the biggest post-war fall when Covid-19 broke out, but reached a level as if nothing had happened relatively quickly afterwards. In the meantime, interest rates continued to fall, working from home became the 'new normal' and the one-and-a-half metre society (hyphenated) became an entry in the Dikke van Dale (the Dutch Oxford Dictionary).
In spite of all these unprecedented developments, Shell Pension has managed to keep its pension funds running smoothly. Of course, it was all hands on deck. And because of the pandemic, we couldn't cope with the crisis all together in one room, but were forced to manage it digitally. That meant some 30,000 payments to Shell pensioners every month, which had to be carried out accurately and on time. As did the careful management of the investments and the control of the risks involved in managing a pension fund.
“SSPF has succeeded
well to perform”
Therefore, looking at the future, I feel some pride and optimism. Our investments have been adequately managed and the risks effectively mitigated. If you succeed together in getting successfully through such a period, there is reason to be grateful. All the more so because many other pension funds found themselves in a far more difficult financial position last year.
In 2021, a significant part of our attention will be geared towards prepararing for a new pension system. At the end of 2020, the government published draft legislation for this very purpose. This provides us with the opportunity to come up with specific pension solutions within the future framework. In that sense, we already have an excellent forerunner in our new fund SNPS. For this, we recently received the IPE Award, an international professional award for the best pension fund in the Netherlands because of our well thought-out and innovative pension schemes.
However, the bottom line is your current or future pension. That has our full attention. In normal and exceptional years.
Managing Director Shell Pensioenbureau Nederland
Kenan Yildirim, provides an overview on behalf of the SSPF executive office of 2020.