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ABP is one of the largest pension funds in the world. How do we invest?

ABP strives to ensure a good and affordable pension for its participants, today and in the future. And we strive for a sustainable world in which they can enjoy that pension. This is why we pay attention to returns, risks, costs and to how the companies we invest in deal with people, the environment and good governance (ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance).

ABP invests the pension contributions paid in monthly by participants and employers in various asset categories, such as real estate, equities and bonds. We do this because investing generates a higher return in the long term than saving. In the coming years, we expect an average return of around 4.5% per year. Of course, we do not invest haphazardly to achieve the highest possible return. Our investment professionals continually assess whether the risks are proportionate to the expected return.

ABP aims for a diversified investment portfolio in terms of geographies, sectors and asset classes. In this manner, we are able to diversify risks and limit the effect on the portfolio of an adverse development in any particular geography, sector or asset class.

Every potential investment is assessed on four criteria: 

  • Does it provide an attractive expected return?
  • Is the risk acceptable?
  • Are the costs not too high?
  • Does the company operate in a sufficiently responsible and sustainable manner?

Our investment portfolio is the result of a meticulous investment process, involving expert professionals from across our organization.

Also view the Statement on our Investment principles.

ABP’s total invested assets amount to €550 billion (as at 31 December 2021 ). Over the past 20 years we have achieved an average return of over 7% on an annual basis.

Return on investments

2015      2.7%
2016      9.5%
2017      7.6%
2018     -2.3%
2019     16.8%
2020     6.6%
2021      11.1%


Our policy

In October 2021, ABP decided to stop investing in fossil energy producers. This factsheet provides facts and figures about ABP’s investments in fossil and other types of energy, our sale of fossil fuel investments and the next steps in 2022.

In our Sustainable and Responsible Investment Policy, we have re-established our goals as a long-term investor and explain how we intend to achieve them.

Climate Policy 

In December 2022, we updated our Climate policy for 2022-2030. Our main goals summarized:

  • A portfolio in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement
  • Net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
  • 50% less greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 than in 2019
  • Invest €30 billion in the climate transition by 2030, €10 billion of which in impact investments

Read the full report here (PDF)

Focus on transitions

We foresee two major transitions in the coming years that we address with our policy. These transitions will have a decisive impact on companies’ ability to create long-term value and on the lives of our participants. These three major transitions are:

  1.  Addressing climate change and the need to transition to new means of generating energy and renewable energy sources;
  2.  Conservation of natural resources, including increasing scarcity of raw materials and food;

Human rights and corporate governance

We regard corporate respect for human rights not only as a prerequisite for all our investments, but also as the precondition for these transitions to unfold in an equitable way. We consider good corporate governance to be fundamental. Without good governance, good business management and a good relationship with shareholders, companies cannot successfully address the three transitions in a sustainable and responsible way.

ABP’s approach to corporate governance is set out in the ABP Corporate Governance Framework.  We have made agreements with our asset manager APG on how to deal with conflicts of interests in relation to stewardship activities.

ABP votes at all shareholder meetings whenever practically possible. Our voting policy applies globally. In making our voting decisions we take into account the specific context and market of the company, national corporate governance codes as well as local laws and regulations. We are transparent about our vote decisions at the shareholder meetings of the companies we invest in.

Excluded countries and companies

ABP does not invest in: 

  • Companies involved in the production of weapons that are banned by international treaties to which the Netherlands is party (cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and biological and chemical weapons); 
  • Producers of tobacco and (key components of) nuclear weapons;
  • Government bonds of countries against which the UN or EU has imposed a binding weapons embargo.

You can view the most recent exclusion list here


Responsible Investment Report

ABP published separate Sustainable and Responsible Investment Reports up to and including the 2019 financial year. As of 2020, this information is integrated into our annual report. 

Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2019
Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2018
Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2017
Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2016
Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2015

Taxes contribute to sound public finances and a stable society with welfare benefits which people feel connected with. By paying its fair share of taxes, ABP can contribute to a livable world in which our participants can enjoy their pension. To this end, we have drawn up a tax policy with ten tax principles.

In this position paper we explain our new tax policy. We also provide insight into the questions we receive about this and the importance of taxes to our participants.