Pension agreement in trouble as union opposition mounts

Social affairs minister Henk Kamp is pressing ahead with legislation to reform the pension system, despite mounting opposition from unions.


The deal, signed last month by employers, unions and ministers, paves the way for an increase in the state pension age to at least 66 and reforms the way company pensions are calculated.
But since the agreement was finalised, union protests that workers are being forced to shoulder too much risk have become louder.
Police and army
Members of the police union ACP have voted against the deal, and its chairman is calling for possible joint action with other unions. The ACOM military union has also rejected the plan as has white collar union De Unie.
The biggest FNV union, the general workers Bondgenoten, has campaigned against the agreement since it was signed. And civil service union Abvakabo has also hardened its position since the surprise resignation of its more moderate chairwoman Edith Snoey this week.
Legislation

According to news agency ANP, Kamp’s plans will be discussed at Friday’s cabinet meeting and then referred to the Council of State advisory body for its opinion. He hopes parliament can then pass the legislation in the autumn.
But MPs also have concerns about the plan, particularly about the investment risks for corporate pensions and the impact on younger workers.
Kamp will need opposition support to get the new law through both the lower and upper house, because its alliance partner, the PVV, opposes it.


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