SNPS. Smarten up your future
Annual Report 2020 – Shell Nederland Pensioenfonds 
Your pension, your future
Love your future. Shell Pension.

November 2020

Seven strategic themes

The year in which the social distancing society was born, shaking hands became a no-go and working from home was proclaimed the norm, the seven strategic themes the SNPS board has been pursuing for several years remained as topical as ever.

1 Pension agreement
In view of the introduction of the new pension system in 2026, the government seized this year to convert the Pension Agreement into new draft laws and regulations. A process that was closely followed and analysed by Shell Pensioenbureau, mapping out possible implications and future scenarios for the long and short term. In its current structure, SNPS is already largely future proof and is actively involved in the major changes the new system will bring. SNPS will continue to contribute its views to the development process of laws and regulations.

2 Major changes in our IT system
On 1 January 2023, according to current planning, SNPS will transition to the new IT platform of pension administration organisation APS. Until then, the ‘Accelerate project’ covers all the hard work on this new ‘engine under the bonnet’ with many more possibilities for the pension fund. In addition to efficient, controlled pension administration at reasonable costs, SNPS also optimises the participants’ ease of use with this new IT platform. This is in line with the pension fund’s IT strategy and service philosophy, which prioritises barrier-free and pleasant interactions with participants, and improves data quality. Because adjustments in the new IT system are faster and easier to realise, SNPS will also become more agile and future-oriented.

3 Environmental, Social & Governance factors, or ESG in short
After embracing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, the SNPS board decided to focus on four SDGs in 2019. These four should receive more attention in the implementation of the ESG policy. In the spring and summer of 2020 all employees, former employees and pensioners of Shell Pensioen were given the opportunity to choose SDGs. Conclusion: According to our participants, the SDGs of climate action, affordable and sustainable energy, gender equality and sustainable cities and communities, should be given extra attention in the ESG policy. In talks with companies in which SNPS invests, this intensified focus will become decisive. A task which, by the way, is carried out by Hermes EOS, under the direction of the SNPS board.

4 Strategic convergence
In order to avoid unnecessary duplication and making things more expensive, SNPS wants its processes to converge as much as possible and come up with one solution to a possible problem. That is why we work with a homogeneous corporate identity for both Shell pension funds in the Netherlands (SNPS and SSPF). This desire for synergy is also evident in the communication policy. Why should we bother participants, usually the same people, with the same message twice? It results in double costs, and it does not necessarily make it any clearer. Relevance and quality, for that matter, always come first in everything we do.

5 Strategic Asset Level Management
How can we organise the work even better in order to optimise both the tactical and strategic goals of SNPS? SNPS asks itself that question every year, because an efficient organisation requires well secured internal and external processes and a partnership with outsourcing parties. In 2020, partly for this reason, SNPS tried to improve the reports for investors and the board. In addition, headway was made in improving the cooperation with our partners such as Achmea Investment Management (AIM) and Stichting Pensioenopleidingen (SPO). Objective: Raising the overall standard of asset management to an even higher level.

6 Integrated risk management
If the outbreak of the coronavirus taught us anything, it is that SNPS has sound risk management. In an exceptionally challenging year, the fund weathered the various challenges well and also achieved a good result. A thorough crisis plan laid the foundations for this result. It delineated duties and responsibilities distinctly, and mapped out procedures clearly.

7 Customer-oriented engagement of participants
SNPS wants to put technology at the service of the participants. That is why, in 2019 and the first few months of 2020, video calling-pilots were run. The introduction in April could not have been timed better. After the initial lockdown, many participants quickly became accustomed to a video conference instead of a live meeting. Video calling is therefore highly appreciated and, on a scale of 1 to 10, participants on average rate it with 9. In addition, a communication experiment was conducted with various mobile applications, including a trial with text messaging, and the ‘pension checker’ app was launched. Objective: Ascertaining in which situations participants can be informed as personally as possible about their pensions and which means suits that purpose best. SNPS also started to communicate its ESG policy in an even more accessible way in 2020. This takes place within a new environment at Shellpensioen.nl, where podcasts, videos and interactive modules can be consulted for quick updates on the policy and current developments.

Outlook 2021

We live in uncertain times. Focus on agility and ability to adapt therefore seems more important than being able to predict the future. Nevertheless, we are positive about the opportunities of 2021. Not because we can see into a crystal ball, but because SNPS managed to perform well under last year’s difficult circumstances. Simply by staying on course guided by a sound strategy. This gives confidence. Despite the fact that SNPS had a number of new directors in 2020, including a new chairperson, everyone knew how to find each other quickly and effectively in the daily noise of the corona crisis.