a.s.r. is a major provider of pension insurance in the Netherlands. The defined benefit (DB) product is a part of the existing pension portfolio, but the growing defined contribution (DC) proposition forms the largest part of new sales. The current customer base of these portfolios comprises approximately 31,200 companies (2021: 27,800) and 720,000 participants (2021: 583,000).
In 2022, a.s.r. successfully completed the integration of Brand New Day IORP and renamed the entity a.s.r. PPI. The selling product is Doenpensioen. a.s.r. PPI is a separate legal entity and therefore not included in the figures.
a.s.r. has split its Life and Pensions activities on 1 March 2022. As a result, the management of the (customer service of) Life, the ASR Pensioenfondsen activities and Funeral are combined. Pensions can now focus entirely on (organic) growth and on the migration to a new IT landscape.
With the pension reform in the Netherlands, a.s.r. expects the pension market to continue to move from DB to DC solutions over the coming years. With the acquisition of a.s.r. PPI, a.s.r. has further expanded its product range in DC solutions. One fifth of the Dutch pension market is still DB. Following the pension reform in the Netherlands the DC market provides strategic growth opportunities for a.s.r.
The switch from DB to DC results in a shift in risk from employer to employee/participant. This switch also leads to a declining cost coverage in the market. a.s.r. is taking further steps to enable digital self-service, given that customers expect to be able to arrange their own financial affairs online.
A second result from the pension reform is that part of the company pension funds will transfer to the new Wet Toekomst Pensioenen (Future Pensions Act; WTP). Activating and guiding pension participants is an important element of the WTP. a.s.r has extensive experience with this and is well-positioned to benefit from this development.
a.s.r. provides DC pension products with recurring premiums, in which benefits are based on investment returns on selected funds, in some cases with guarantees. a.s.r.’s DC proposition concerns the employee pension product Werknemers Pensioen (WnP). In 2022, the WnP had almost 151,000 active participants (2021: 130,000) and € 3.3 billion (2021: 3.0) in AuM, all invested in SRI funds.
The number of active participants at a.s.r. PPI grew to over 162,000 (2021: 120,000) and the invested capital to € 2.0 billion (2021: 1.9). In addition to the fixed annuity product, a.s.r. also has a variable pension product. This offers customers a product for the payout phase of their pension, with an appropriate balance between risk and return. a.s.r. also offered DB products, but these are no longer (actively) sold since 1 January 2022.
a.s.r.'s competitive position is being strengthened through the creation of further economies of scale and a focus on digital transformation and consolidation opportunities.
With the launch of the Ik denk vooruit ("I think ahead") platform, customers have been able to gain more insight into their financial situation so that they can take the right financial decisions. Through the platform, customers can register for the targeted investment product, which allows them to choose between three sustainable ASR Vooruit mixed funds.
The a.s.r. strategy in pensions consists of 5 focus points:
Serving the needs of clients and partners. Helping customers increase their financial health, providing more insight into their financial situation and helping them to make the right financial decisions. Excellent operational performance with a high level of client satisfaction.
Realising a new IT landscape to administer the pension portfolio. This new target IT landscape will contribute to the efficient implementation of changes in laws and regulations (among them the new pension legislation) and the further reduction of costs.
Building a future-proof company by investing in the development of its employees and developing a data-driven organisation with healthy financial performance.
Realising growth by having the right product propositions in place and looking for opportunities through ongoing market consolidation to acquire portfolios or companies in order to achieve cost reductions.
Maintaining control by keeping service levels on-track, complying with legislation and continuously monitoring the risk appetite. If necessary, a.s.r. can enact measures and make adjustments.
The average NPS-c rating in 2022 was 57 (2021: 52).
In 2023, a.s.r. will focus on further growth in WnP, DoenPensioen and on immediate fixed and variable pension annuities, as well as on further improving customer satisfaction. a.s.r. is also preparing for the roll-out of the Wet Toekomst Pensioenen which will have an impact on Operations and IT.
The expected business combination with Aegon Nederland N.V. will have impact on Pensions during 2023. For information about the proposed business combination, please refer to At a glance.