The Labour (PvdA) party’s members’ council backed the cabinet’s plans to increase the state pension age from 65 to 67 at a packed meeting in Utrecht on Monday night.
Council members rejected a motion opposing the increase by a large majority, news agency ANP reports.
Labour is one of three parties in the current coalition government. The coalition is planning to raise the pension age from 2020 to help get government finances under control. But some of the party’s MPs are known to have their doubts about the increase.
Despite the rejection of the motion, many council members said they were not sure if the party’s motto – the strongest shoulders carry the heaviest weight – could be guaranteed, ANP reports.
Henk Kolk, chairman of the FNV-affiliated manufacturing union, said he did not think it right people who started work at a young age and had a tough job should get a lower pension if they still opted to retire at 65.
The cabinet plans to keep the retire at 65 option but says people who choose to stop work then will get a lower pension. It is also planning to force employers to find new tasks for people who have done ‘heavy work’ for 30 years.
Junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma was loudly applauded when she pledged to make sure employers met their responsibilities to older workers, ANP said.
Ministers have called on employers and unions to work together to define ‘heavy work’ and come up with alternative tasks.
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