NETHERLANDS – Dutch social security minister Mark Rutte has published research into the possible impact of the new pension law.

The main issue in his ministry’s findings – which have been presented to parliament – are to do with possible discriminatory effects.

According to Rutte, no real negative effects are expected to be caused by the overall content of the new Law. However, the research has highlighted possible discriminatory effects still exist between men and women in their premium payments for the same level of pension.

Any negative impact will not be borne by the employee but the employer. This will see some sectors, within the small and medium-sized enterprises, having to raise the employer’s payment to pension insurers. Rutte says that although this is not an immediate problem, it still needs to be addressed.

Peter Borgdorff, director of the Dutch Association of Industry-wide Pension funds, the Vereniging van Bedrijfstakpensioenfondsen, said that there is no problem for the members of VB. He said this was because the pensions are based on an average premium, and are not gender specific.

There is no discrimination between men and women in sector pension funds. The employers will only have to pay higher premiums for female participants when there is no collective labour agreement.

According to the VB, most small firms will not be affected as they are already in the industry-wide funds arrangement.

Hennie Soontjes, spokesman of the Dutch Association of Insurers, the Verbond van Verzekeraars, told IPE that all issues are already being dealt within the collective agreement of its members, at second pillar level. The third pillar, however, could still be under pressure.

This segment still shows a substantial difference in premiums between men and women, he said. According to Soontjes, discussions are still going on, but expectations are that there will be a non-discriminatory solution in the end.