Senators on Tuesday night voted in favour of reforming the current pension system, 16 years after change was first mooted.
The new law, which will come into effect in 2028, was backed by the four coalition parties plus the PvdA, GroenLinks and fundamentalist Protestant group SGP, and was passed by 46 votes to 27.
Pensions minister Carola Schouten described the new legislation as an “import step” to ensuring company pensions in the Netherlands “remain well organised”.
The yes vote came despite a last-minute objection from three constitutional law professors, who said that as the law will impact on parliamentarians’ pensions, it should be passed by a two-thirds majority.
The new system’s backers say it will benefit people with flexible jobs and shorter contracts in particular. It will also, they argue, be better for young people because they will not have to pay toward the higher pensions enjoyed by older generations.
On the downside, the new system is more vulnerable to stock exchange swings and there are no hard guarantees about the final payments.
Schouten said on Tuesday she understands that some people have doubts about the new system, and stressed that clear information for everyone is essential.
Pension funds have 4.5 years to make the transition to the new system which is based on everyone having their own pension pot which they will be able to take with them when switching jobs.
The Dutch pension system is currently based on three pillars – the state pension AOW, compulsory corporate pension schemes – either sector-wide or company-based – and individual or private pension schemes.
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