NETHERLANDS - Dutch political parties VVD and D66 have said that self-employed workers who stay with their last employers' pension funds must be allowed to keep their tax-facilitated pension saving for 10 years.

At present, the self-employed - or 'ZZPers' - can stay with the pension fund of their previous employer for 10 years, but they are entitled to just three years' tax-friendly saving.

Ineke Dezentjé Hamming, MP for the liberal party VVD, said: "This seems to be fine, but the reality is problematic.

"Because starting self-employed must also pay the employer's part of the contribution, they are already facing a tripling of the premium."

Fatima Koşer Kaja, MP for the D66, said a different tax treatment for ZZPers was unfair.

"When the fax-facilitation stops after three years, the already expensive pension arrangements become unaffordable," she said.

Dezentjé Hamming added: "By extending the fiscal benefit, the self-employed will get the breathing space to get their own business on the rails, which will allow them to arrange a pension solution for the further future."

There are approximately 675,000 ZZPers in the Netherlands, of which almost 50% are over 45 years old.

Research by the Social and Economic Council (SER) has suggested that pension saving by the self-employed is often insufficient, and that roughly half of ZZPers have done nothing to address in the shortfall.

Koşer Kaja said: "The rising number of self-employed is good for the Dutch economy and employment. Therefore, we must cherish them rather than let them fall into pension poverty."

Both MPs have submitted their proposal to Frans Weekers, the responsible minister for finance.