The 2012 International Eastbourne Tennis Event is sponsored by AEGON, the pensions company who claim to be “passionate about planning for the future”.

Dutch dock workers and their families are victims of another of AEGON’s passions: financial greed.

AEGON spent years on a business deal to pocket dockworkers’ retirement funds. As a result, employers and employees of the port community lost £715 million of their retirement capital.

On the 23rd June Unite joined with the dutch dock workers in a protest outside the Devonshire Park in Eastbourne where the event took place.

During the protest members passed out tennis balls and literature to spectators hoping to attend the event but these were confiscated by officials at the ground before allowing them to attend.
Aegon demo 2

Aegon demo 4 In 2007 AEGON acquired OPTAS, the pension firm of the seaport community. As a result AEGON walked away with £715 million  of retirement reserves of the port community (book value 2011). A capital purposely set aside with a legal earmark. It was ‘restricted’ for the pension benefits of the port community.

Immediately after the takeover by AEGON dockworkers and their employers cry out for justice. But AEGON rejects all claims. It speaks of its own ‘free capital’ and coldly puts the money on its corporate balance sheet and into its annual report.
  To the seaport community AEGON declares: ‘if you want your money back, go to the vendors of OPTAS. They are the ones who hold on to your restricted capital. We have paid them for it’.

Even today this is what you will hear AEGON say: ‘The dockworkers are knocking on the wrong door.’ This is a deliberate misrepresentation. In 2011 the Dutch Supreme Court already corrected AEGON on this.
Aegon Demo
Aegon demo 3

According to the Court the restricted pension capital is in AEGON’s hands. And even there it remains interconnected with dockworkers retirement benefits, the Court said. It may never be spend on anything else. The problem is however that AEGON cannot legally be forced to actually spend it on dockworkers pensions.

In other words: AEGON creatively got hold of 715 million pounds worth of dockworkers’ pension money.

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