Early retirement is back on the agenda in half of new pay deals: VK

More than half of recently agreed pay and conditions agreements (CAOs) contain measures covering early retirement, allowing people to stop work three years before the state pension kicks in, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday.

The agreements cover all workers, not just those doing physically taxing jobs and has been highlighted by both unions and the Awvn, which advises companies during CAO negotiations, the paper said. So far, some one million workers are now covered.

Since January 1 it has been possible for employers to lay off staff who are three years away from retirement with a gross annual payment of €22,164 – equivalent to a state pension for a couple. Higher payments are taxed at 52%.

The option, which runs to January 2026, was introduced to offset the impact of the increase in the state pension age and changes in the pension system, particularly the effect on people doing physically heavy jobs. The state retirement age is currently 66 years and four months and will increase to 67 in 2024.

The healthcare pension scheme PGGM is one which is now open to people who want to retire early, chemicals group DSM has introduced it, and national railway company NS will also allow people to step down ahead of schedule, the Volkskrant said.

Since early retirement was effectively stopped in 2006, the average retirement age has risen from 61 to 65.

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