‘Hands off our pensions’: FNV

FNV trade union federation chairman Agnes Jongerius says the unions will not accept lower pensions ‘under any circumstances’.

In an interview with Wednesday’s AD, she said if social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner does not give pension funds more time to increase their buffers, he can forget about the ‘central agreement’ between employers and unions on pay and working conditions.
Last Friday Donner increased the time allowed for increasing pension fund buffers from three years to five, but Jongerius says the conditions are still too tough. The result is that funds are freezing or reducing pensions. She told the AD this is ‘unacceptable’.
According to Jongerius, the FNV is not looking for more money but flexibility. ‘The funds have to hold money for people who will only need a pension in forty years. But in that time, share prices and interest rates will rise.’
She is calling on Donner to come up with a new plan. Unions, employers and ministers are attempting to draw up an agreement aimed at heading off mass redundancies during the economic crisis.

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