Of all the measures that the new centre-left coalition government has said it wants to introduce, the one that has aroused most comment is the plan to make wealthy pensioners pay towards state pensions.
The Christian Democrats did not want to change the pension system, the Labour (PvdA) wanted to make all wealthy pensioners pay more and the ChristenUnie wanted to phase out state pension premiums altogether.
So this is what they have come up with: if you quit work before the age of 63 and have a corporate pension of more than €18,000 a year, you will continue paying state pension premiums once you reach the age of 65. If you stop working at 63 or 64 you won’t have to pay quite so much extra.
Quit work on your 65th birthday and you won’t have to pay state pension premiums at all. The same might apply if you have a hard physical job and stop working before you are 65. And if you are your own boss and stop working early, goodness only knows what the new situation will mean for you.
Chances are that the extra money this complicated scheme will generate will all be spent on extra communications experts to explain what it means, civil servants to sort out what it actually means and lawyers to fight the numerous lawsuits which are bound to follow.
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