Pensions minister Carola Schouten must ask pension funds to immediately index pensions after buffer requirements are likely to be loosened on 1 July, according to a Dutch parliamentary motion that received majority support.
The motion received a majority because coalition party D66 sided with the opposition to support it. As a result, the motion received 97 out of 150 votes. It had been tabled by independent parliamentarian Liane den Haan.
In the motion, it is noted that the strong increase in interest rates has made indexation a realistic prospect. “But there is a chance that pension funds will forego indexation as they also have to grow their buffers in anticipation of the pension transition,” the motion added.
However, the motion continues by stating indexation is necessary because of the cost of living for pensioners “due to inflation and the impact of the war in Ukraine on our country”.
Parliament therefore has requested the government to enter into conversations with pension funds and ask them to index “wherever possible”.
Parliamentarian Den Haan proved surprised her motion received majority support, because pensions minister Schouten had advised parliament to vote against the motion.
Last month, Schouten told parliament it is the responsibility of pension funds to decide whether or not to index pensions. “I’m not going to meddle in this,” she added. She promised, however, to discuss the topic with the sector.
Den Haan wants the minister to write a letter to parliament explaining what she will do to execute her motion.
Separately, a parliamentary majority has also ordered Schouten to address pension funds regarding the high performance fees they have recently been paying to private equity funds.