Pension agreement must be put on ice, says social affairs minister

The agreement worked out by unions and employers to increase the state pension age to 66 by 2020 should be put on hold, social affairs minister Henk Kamp said on Thursday.

The upper house of parliament is due to debate the measures on May 15, but the plan has become redundant now the cabinet and three other parties have agreed the increase should be speeded up.
Kamp is working on emergency legislation which will bring in the higher age limit in stages so it will be fully implemented by 2019 instead.
This is one of the measures agreed in an emergency austerity package worked out last week following the collapse of the government coalition.
Unions have condemned the decision to break open the pension agreement, which took over a year to work out, and have accused the five parties of not thinking the measure through properly.
‘Just 4% of people still work at the age of 64. Is there going to be a changeover period for the other 95%?,’ said FNV federation leader Agnes Jongerius. The new plan involves increasing the state pension age by one month in 2014 and to speed up the increase in subsequent years.
It is not clear if the unions are planning any protests about the decision.

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