Higher pension age back on the table

Ministers are again working on plans to gradually increase the state pension age from 65 to 67, the Volkskrant and Financieele Dagblad report on Thursday.

Sources in The Hague say ministers believe an increase is a ‘serious option’ to limit the budget deficit because it would cut government spending on pensions by up to €8bn.
The FD says a core group of ministers are actively looking into the idea.
And, says the paper, it will also solve part of the financial problems facing corporate pension funds which have lost billions of euros in assets and are having to freeze pay-outs.
Last year a government commission recommended increasing the state pension age (AOW) to 67 to counteract the effect of the greying population, but this was rejected by the cabinet.
And there is no parliamentary majority in support of raising the pension age.
The Volkskrant says that new estimates from the government’s macro-economic policy unit CPB are set to show the budget deficit will go over 2% this year. In its coalition agreement, the cabinet has agreed that spending will be cut if that happens.
But cuts would not be popular because of the recession, the paper says.
The cabinet is already working on changes to this year’s spending plans and these will be presented by finance minister Wouter Bos as part of his traditional spring statement.

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