Top civil servant calls for pensions for all, including freelancers

The most senior civil servant in the economic affairs ministry says there should be a shake-up in the social insurance system to ensure the self-employed are also included in pension and invalidity benefit schemes.

In his traditional New Year’s article in ESB magazine, secretary-general Maarten Camps said some 10% of the Dutch working population are now self-employed and that number is likely to rise. 

This, he said, is putting pressure on the traditional Dutch institutions of collectivity and solidarity. The relationship between employer and worker is changing, he said. The labour market of the future requires a system that encourages, rather than impedes, mobility.

This new approach could be based on a compulsory collective system covering all workers – both employees and freelancers. ‘Everyone would pay premiums to the collective invalidity and pension schemes,’ he told the Volkskrant in an interview.

Research shows that few self-employed people contribute to a private pension scheme or have invalidity insurance, partly due to the cost.

Tax break

One of the agreements made between ministers, unions and employers last year was to try to reduce the flexibility gap between freelancers and permanent staff. The government also plans to cut the special tax break for freelancers.

In addition, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher is campaigning to reduce the number of fake freelancers who only have one employer.

For example, on Thursday it emerged Asscher is putting pressure on PostNL to re-employ hundreds of parcel delivery workers because they are not really self-employed.

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