Minister wants workers to retire later

Automatic retirement at the age of 65 should be a thing of the past and people should be able to delay retirement in return for a higher pension, social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner told MPs on Wednesday.

The proposals are included in a government paper entitled ‘You are as old as you feel’. Currently only around 50% of people aged over 55 are still in work.
The plan suggests encouraging people to work fewer hours after the age of 65, rather than stopping altogether. ‘If you only have the choice of stopping completely or carrying on full-time, the tendency is to opt to stop completely,’ Donner said.
A delay in applying for a state pension (AOW) past 65 would entitle people to an extra 5% for every year worked, the plan says. In addition, employers should no longer be obliged to pay wages to sick older workers for two years. And a company faced with financial difficulties should be able to sack the over-65s ahead of other staff when compulsory redundancies are being made.
A spokesman for the FNV union federation told the NRC that Donner would have to give workers the legal right to work longer. Automatic retirement at 65 is included in many pay and conditions agreements, the spokesman pointed out.
But the employers organisation VNO NCW welcomed the plans. The ‘very tough limits on the risks associated with health problems are a big plus’, as is the possibility to sack staff past the official pension age first, a spokesman told the Financieele Dagblad.

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