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Dutch Pensions Federation calls for postponement of system review

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The Dutch Pensions Federation has called on the government to postpone the implementation of planned changes to the pensions system by another year.

It said it was concerned ongoing delays in decision-making over the system’s review would pose “great risks” for its proper implementation.

The federation was responding to stalled negotiations between the governing coalition parties – the VVD and the PvdA – and the opposition party regarding government plans to reduce tax-facilitated pensions accrual from 2.25% to 1.75% a year.

The measure was meant to save €3bn for the national budget, but the opposition – which has a blocking majority in the Senate – fears younger workers will be unable to accrue sufficient pension rights.

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On 13 December, on national radio, Gerard Riemen, director at the Pensions Federation, said: “We should have had clarity for two months already, as the implementation of changes in pension arrangements usually takes a year.”

Postponing the update of the pensions system would also entail a second delay for the new financial assessment framework (FTK), including the new pensions contract.

Last year, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary at the Ministry for Social Affairs, postponed the introduction of the reviewed FTK by a year to 1 January 2015.

At the time, both the €293bn civil service scheme ABP and the €134bn healthcare pension fund PFZW, as well as the Pensions Federation, expressed their disappointment, citing uncertainty over the sustainability of the pensions contract, which had already been a subject of debate for four years.

The government’s proposals for the new FTK have not yet been published, as a result of the decision to develop a single hybrid pensions contract – rather than a nominal version, as well as one under real terms – following a consultation with the pensions sector.

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