In conversation with Hans Peter van Arkel, Key Officer Risk Management for SNPS.
“In mid-2020, I was asked to be key officer risk management. In this role, I keep track of the risks that SNPS might face. These include various financial and non-financial possibilities and threats. In addition, I am responsible for assessing the risk management within the fund. I report on this to the board. I also take part in the internal quarterly meetings within the Pensioenbureau (pension office) during which risk management is discussed. Together, we take a look at whether there are any new risks to be faced, and if so, how we can manage them.”
“SPN’s Finance Manager, Jan Kees Smit, is the person implementing the risk management. Together with his team, he verifies whether all checks and balances are carried out correctly and in time. I liaise with him regularly, as well as with Bas van der Leer. He has the same role as I have, only for the other Shell pension fund, SSPF. It is nice to share experiences and look for a linking factor between SSPF and SNPS.”
“It is good to think about your pension, because there are various choices you can make, now and in the future”
“It is good to give your pension some thought, because there are different choices you can make, now and in the future. And yet, to many people retirement remains difficult to fathom and boring. I never really got that, because the world of pensions is constantly changing and therefore not boring at all. I think SNPS is doing a lot in terms of communication, and in recent years the pension fund has really made progress. The fund keeps the participants properly informed through the website, by videos, e-mails, or letters. Particularly in these extraordinary times, it is especially important to stay in touch with the participants in the pension fund.”
“Of course, the coronavirus has an impact on risk management, but if you look at the whole set of measures ‘to keep things under control’ I can only say that it is solid as a rock. Despite the outbreak of the coronavirus, no interventions in or corrections to the processes were necessary and SNPS operated within its adopted policy. That is something to be proud of, because it shows that our risk management is in order.”
“Given my background and experience as an auditor and Governance, Risk & Assurance manager within Shell, my enthusiasm about this position was to be expected. Moreover, I think the world of pensions is extremely interesting. It is all about complex, yet challenging subject matter. As a pension fund, you have to keep a lot of balls in the air and liaise with various parties. I consider it a nice challenge to work within that field of tension, and I like the fact that, in addition to my regular job, I can set my brains at work in a different area!”
Hans Peter van Arkel works as Finance Manager and Country Controller for Shell Netherlands and is a VO member of SSPF. In addition, he is key function holder risk management for SNPS and from that position he keeps track of the total risks.