NETHERLANDS - Dutch social affairs' state secretary, Jetta Klijnsma, wants to carry on with the plan to allow employees to keep on working up to five years beyond the official retirement age.

"In my opinion, society will benefit from the legislation coming into force soon," said Klijnsma in a letter to parliament.

A bill, which was tabled last autumn, offered workers the option to decide when and how - in full or in part - their state pension AOW will commence.

However, the Labour Foundation (Star) has advised the government to delay discussions, at least until the Social and Economic Council (SER) has looked for alternatives to a rise in the AOW age from 65 to 67.

Although the government has already decided to  introduce this increase in the state retirement age, it has also granted the social partners of employers and employees six months respite, for a study into possible others ways to economise on national spending.

"With a raised AOW age, there will also be a need for a flexible AOW," argued Klijnsma.

Instead of honouring Star's request, the secretary of state has asked parliament to go ahead with discussions about the Flex AOW bill.

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