NETHERLANDS – FNV, the largest Dutch trade union, has refuted the government’s new policy paper on old age.

In a letter to Parliament, the FNV has stated its disagreement with the publication, “Old age policy in regards to aspects of ageing”. It does not accept the paper’s assertion that people will have to work after age 65.

According to the union, most employees will not even be able to reach 65 with full health. FNV vice chairman AJM Heerts stated that most emphasis should be put on rational policy to increase the position of pensioners.

Heerts said the real issue is not that people need to work longer but that there should be an emphasis on finding ways to keep people productive until they are 65.

This is limited by the fact that their overall position in the labour market is weak and that little cash is going into keeping older employees in work.

Until this has been dealt with, the FNV refuses to support the new policy.

At the same time, to support the overall financial position of pension funds, more women and immigrants needed to enter the labour market.

Heerts says more needs to be done to improve education, employability and working conditions.

Asked about the levensloop arrangements, Heerts said that the government is too optimistic.

Most employees will have no real possibility to use the given possibilities, especially not during the heyday of their careers.