The fundamentals of the Dutch pensions system, such as a collective approach and solidarity between all participants, will be up for discussion during a broad dialogue about the long-term future of the system, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, has said.
In a letter to Parliament, she said she intended to speak with all stakeholders, such as supervisors, umbrella organisations, pensions experts, pension providers as well as ordinary people.
The dialogue would initially focus on what is desirable and achievable to be the key elements of the pension system, and would also include tailor-made choices, according to Klijnsma.
As a next step, the public discussion would focus on the design of a new system, including ownership rights, whether or not to continue with mandatory participation and the principle of the average contribution.
The dialogue is also meant to find solutions for the 800,000 self-employed – many of whom are not saving for an additional pension – and developing pension arrangements linked with care and housing, the state secretary said.
Klijnsma annouced that the Cabinet would soon come up with proposals for a pensions scheme for self-employed within the current framework, and that it had requested the Social and Economic Council (SER) for an extensive advice, including the views of the social partners.
She added that the Cabinet was already looking into the options of adjusting the current principle of average premiums, which is leading to increased friction between younger and olders workers.
The outcome of the different processes would be outlined in a note, to be presented to Parliament in the spring of 2015.
Meanwhile, Jan Nagel, senator for the political party for the elderly (50PLUS), has called for a national referendum on the future or the pensions system.
The party, which has two representatives in the lower house of parliament, said the proposals for an update of the financial assessment framework (FTK) were damaging and objectionable, in part because contributions would be decreased to also benefit employers.
It further argued that an expected increase of the required financial buffers would also come at the expense of pensioners, as this would limit the chances of indexation.
A referendum would certainly delay the introduction of a new FTK, which is scheduled to come into force on 1 January 2015.