Council of State criticises minister on help for poor pensioners

The cabinet’s proposals for revamping the extra help for poor pensioners do not take their financial position into account and will only result in limited savings, says the Council of State advisory body.

The council says junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma should do her sums again and look at amending her proposals.

The government wants to change the current system for providing extra financial support to pensioners – such as help with rent, healthcare and other top-up payments – because the benefits also apply to people who have retired abroad.


To get around this, the government wants to make benefit payments dependent on the length of time someone has lived and worked in the Netherlands. To qualify for a full state pension (AOW), people need to have lived in the Netherlands for 50 years by the time they retire.

But this, the Council of State points out, means that all pensioners – including those who are wealthy – will qualify for the new payments. This will have an impact on how much cheaper the new system will be, the Council says.

Klijnsma said in a reaction it will be too expensive to make the new benefit income-dependent, news agency ANP reports.

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