The senate on Tuesday evening refused to back the government’s plans to reform the corporate pension system, saying ministers had not done enough to take their objections into account.
The cabinet wants to reduce the amount people can put towards a pension scheme tax free from 2.25% to 1.85% of annual salary. This will save the treasury some €3bn.
However, the three main opposition parties – the Christian Democrats, left-wing liberal D66 and christian ChristenUnie – oppose the change. They say it will be virtually impossible for youngsters to build up a proper pension.
The coalition parties Liberal democrats VVD and Labour are eight votes short of a majority in the senate and need opposition support.
Senators did not vote on the cabinet’s plans but told ministers they would have to make proper changes before the legislation was returned to the upper house for a vote.