Public sector salary ceiling will slash central bank chief’s pay

Central bank president Klaas Knot will have to hand in almost half his salary while the chairman of the financial services authority will lose more than half his when new rules on public sector pay come into effect.

The Volkskrant has researched the new legislation which will fix public sector pay at no more than the prime minister’s, plus pensions and other benefits.
This means around €228,000 will be the maximum anyone can earn in a public organisation. Knot currently earns €443,000 while AFM chairman Ronald Gerritse earns €510,000.
Phased out
High earners will be allowed to keep their original pay packets for four years, but it must then be brought back to the accepted level over three years.
Third on the Volkskrant’s list of high earners is Wander Blaauw of healthcare group Noorderbreedte, with an annual salary of €372,000. Fourth is air traffic control chief Paul Riemens on €358,000 and fifth, Wageningen university chief Aalt Dijkhuizen who earns €346,000.
The paper says it remains to be seen if officials on a permanent contract, such as Dijkhuizen, can be forced to hand back their salary. Knot is on a seven-year contract and would have to accept the lower pay level if he wants to renew this.
Best people
Banking professor Harald Bennink told the paper salaries in the financial sector are high in order to attract the best people. ‘If a good banker has to sell his house in order to work in the public sector something is wrong,’ Bennink said.
Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is due to update parliament on how he plans to apply the rules to the financial service chiefs. Both the central bank and AFM declined to comment on the Volkskrant’s report.
Former Shell chief executive Jeroen van der Veer told the paper it is right that public sector salaries are pegged to that of the prime minister. ‘For a quality system, the prime minister should earn double what he does now,’ Van der Veer said. ‘That gives space for the others to earn less.’
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