A fixed or variable pension
If the pension is converted into the new pension scheme and you have already retired, you must choose a fixed or a variable pension benefit. If you opt for a fixed benefit, your pension amount will always remain the same; it doesn’t get any higher, nor does it get lower. If you opt for a variable benefit, it is possible that your pension benefit will be slightly higher or lower in any given year. It is good to note that the pension fund can take measures to limit the risk of a lower pension.
If you are not yet retired but still have a pension with Stichting Shell Pensioenfonds, you will have to make this choice on your retirement date.
The distribution of the buffers
When ‘converting the pensions’, any guarantees from the employer expires. In the new system, the buffers are no longer required by the pension fund. If the buffers become available, and this happens if the pension is converted into the new premium scheme, then these buffers can be distributed. This can be done in different ways. For example, by increasing the individual pension pots, by creating new buffers to mitigate certain risks or by compensating for the difference in future accrual for current employees. A combination is also possible.
The higher the buffers, the more attractive this option becomes because there is more money available. However, this is only possible if the pensions are converted, because only then the buffers will become available. If it is decided not to convert the pensions and close the pension fund, the buffers will remain there in accordance with the current agreements. It is up to Shell to review this option and to assess the best option. Shell does this in consultation with the COR, the VOEKS hearing rights committee and the pension funds.