After months of talks, pension reform agreement almost complete

The five political parties negotiating the reform of the pension system are nearing agreement, the NRC quotes sources in The Hague as saying.

The ruling coalition parties, Labour and the right-wing VVD, and the D66 Liberals and two small Christian parties, continued their talks on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the NRC’s sources, the amount workers can put tax free into corporate pension schemes will be reduced from 2.25% of their gross salary to 1.85%. Originally the coalition wanted a reduction to 1.75%.

Budget gap

The change will leave a €650m hole in the government’s budget, which will be partly filled by postponing the reduction of the employers’ contribution to the general unemployment fund. This will save €250m.

A further €250m will come from the so-called ‘mobility bonus’ for employers who take on the over 50s and the handicapped. Employers will only start receiving the bonus when workers are over 53 years of age.

Several earlier plans are no longer included in the reforms, says the NRC. Among them limiting the tax break on corporate pension schemes to income under €100,000.


The parties are also considering allowing workers who leave full-time employment for a freelance existence to stay with their company pension scheme. There are also plans to set up a work-related pension scheme for freelancers.

The discussions will continue later today and the party leaders are confident an agreement can be reached on Wednesday.

However, D66 and the ChristenUnie want to speak to their senators, who have not been involved in the negotiations but who are crucial if the reforms are to pass in the upper house.

The government needs the support of other parties because it does not have a majority in the senate.


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