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Dutch union eyes pension fund for self-employed

NETHERLANDS - The largest Dutch trade union FNV has stated it wants to set up a new defined contribution pension fund for self-employed people and small businesses.

At present, this group does is not able to join a relevant corporate-wide pension fund at all. Most self-employed people have to take out a more costly pension agreement with insurers.

During the presentation of the new CAO (collective labour agreement) negotiations, the trade union will address this issue with all employers during the next salary negotiations.

But if no deal can be made, the union has indicated that it wants to set up a new pension fund.

FNV negotiator Wilna Wind stated that this issue has become a priority for the union. If the plan goes ahead, the fund will be functional in 2007.

It comes as the self-employed as a group have grown substantially and are becoming more important for the Dutch trade unions.

The new fund would have the FNV as financially responsible actor. It will be an insurer without a profit target. A possible fund is slated to be put into an already existing agreement with Dutch insurer Achmea.

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