Members of trade union FNV, who voted in 2019 in favour of the new Dutch pensions law that involves a switch to a defined contribution (DC) system, might not back the new law if it were put to a vote today, according to FNV president Tuur Elzinga.

Elzinga made his comments in an interview with IPE’s sister publication Pensioen Pro on Friday.

Responding to a question whether a majority of FNV members would vote for the new pension law if a referendum were held today, Elzinga said he was not sure.

“Over the past few years so many experts and quasi-experts have given their opinion about the pension reform. This has caused a lot of confusion,” he said.

The trade union boss insisted, however, that “everyone” would benefit from the switch to DC, an assertion he also made in 2019 when FNV members were to vote on the pension accord between social partners and the government which was the basis of the law that was passed by the Dutch Senate last week.

“We will be better able to manage risks and will organise solidarity in a fairer and more clever way in the new system,” said Elzinga.

“The chance that pension benefits will be cut will become smaller in the solidarity contract, while indexation of pensions will become more likely. All generations will benefit, although this does indeed not mean that there will be no individuals who will be worse off in the new system,” he added.

Elzinga hailed the new law as “the best result possible”, but he conceded that the new system is still not perfect.

“If we had been the only party on the negotiation table, something different would have come out of it,” Elzinga said.

“We would have liked to introduce an obligatory pension, for example, and we still haven’t made arrangements about a lower pension age for people in tough professions. That will be our next battle. There are still a lot of improvements to the pension system to be realised. This is not the last pension reform,” he concluded.

This article was first published on Pensioen Pro, IPE’s Dutch sister publication. It was translated and adapted for IPE by Tjibbe Hoekstra.