NETHERLANDS - The Dutch tax office could be hitting around 40% of companies with fines of up to €600,000 for not making changes to their pension agreements.

Jeroen de Munnik, director of pensions at insurer Aegon Netherlands, said most would receive a penalty during 2006.

According to Aegon research, most companies have not yet been able to implement changes to their arrangements.

The tax office has indicated that companies will need to pay 52% over all pension payments made which are not according to the post prepension/VUT situation.

Since prepension and VUT were ended as of January 1 2005, all companies have been forced to enter these changes in their own company arrangements.

The tax office had agreed to a transition period until January 1 this year.

According to Aegon’s de Munnik, most companies have however not been able to implement the necessary changes as the issues need to be debated and decided by all social partners involved.

The trade unions have been trying to reintroduce parts of the old arrangements within the new set-up. Prolonged negotiations have caused the current delays.

According to de Munnik, company fines are expected to be €1,000 to €600,000 per company.