Sunday 31 May 2020

Biggest Dutch union won’t discuss pension reform without concessions

The FNV trade union federation said on Wednesday that it will not talk about reforming the Dutch pension system until the rise in the state pension age is halted.

The union also wants prior agreement on developing a pension strategy for people who are self employed, before it will get down to serious discussions, spokesman Tuur Elzinga told the Volkskrant.

State pensions are currently rising in line with life expectancy, and will soon reach 67. Unions say this is particularly hard on workers in tough physical jobs.

The new government’s reform plans are ‘unrealistically ambitious,’ Elzinga said, following news that social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees wants a preliminary agreement early next year.

Various ideas about pension reform have been circulating, all of which focus on individual pension schemes. Currently, the Dutch corporate pension sector is dominated by industry or company-based schemes.

The minister wants unions and employers to come up with a draft proposal which they all agree on early next year. That deal would then form the basis of new legislation.

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