Initial assessment – Sample questions - Pension funds
Below are some examples of actual fitness assessment interview questions, categorised according to the topics that we consider in assessments.
- What is your motivation for considering this position?
- What will be your strategy for the organisation/what will you focus on?
- What does Pensioen123 mean?
Operational management and communications:
- What are the most significant internal challenges for the organisation?
- What is the pension fund's governance model?
- How does the board perform self-assessments?
Relevant laws and regulations:
- What are the requirements for outsourcing under the Pensions Act?
Pension schemes and types:
- Can you explain the differences between DB, DC and CDC schemes?
- Which scheme or schemes does your fund administer?
- Which risks do DB schemes have? Which risks do DC schemes have?
Financial and actuarial aspects, including funding, investments, actuarial principles and reinsurance:
- What are the main characteristics of your fund's investment policy?
- How do you control interest rate risk?
- What is the impact of falling interest rates on the fund's liabilities? And on investments?
- Which differences do you observe between self-administered and insured pension plans?
Administrative organisation (AO) and internal control (IC):
- What are the characteristics of AO/IC and what are the benefits of adequate structuring?
- What does the actuarial and technical business report describe (Actuariële en bedrijfstechnische nota – ABTN)?
- Does the ABTN adequately describe the financial structure?
- Which criteria would you apply when selecting an asset manager?
- How does the fund manage outsourcing risks?
- How does the fund control the costs of outsourcing? How does the fund define acceptable cost levels?
The team of board members of which the candidate will be part:
- What value will you be adding to the team?
- What are the strong points of the team? And the weaker points?
- By which additional competencies or expertise would the team benefit in your opinion?
- Given your specific expertise, which supervisory board members are most likely to offer countervailance?
- Can you describe a recent situation where you showed critical and decisive behaviour?
- How do you exert influence within the team? Can you give an example?
- How do you deal with conflicts of interest?
- What are your pitfalls?
- How do you, as the chair, ensure that all members deliver an active contribution to meetings Can you give an example of this?
- How do you combine your different positions?
- Could you devote more time to this position, if the circumstances so require? Which position would you give up or reduce in that case?
- We found that you failed to disclose a particular piece of your professional history in the Propriety Assessment Form. Why is this?
- What happened?
- What have you learned?
For proposed pension fund investment committee members, we have issued a guidance document on investment knowledge standards (Guidance normenkader beleggingskennis ), listing the minimum requirements with which candidates must comply.