NETHERLANDS - After criticism from pension funds, the Dutch government is now being attacked by the pension insurers, the third pillar of the Dutch system.

Kick van der Pol, chairman of Interpolis, one of the largest Dutch insurers, does not expect that it will be possible to implement the new pre-pension and ‘levensloop’ arrangements on January 1 2006.

He even expects that overall, if taking into account the fact that also the WAO arrangements are being changed, the system will not be in place before January 1 2007.

Van der Pol’s criticism is remarkable, especially because the last months several insurance companies have been stating they will have their plans in place in 2006. Now, the first cracks are appearing.

Van der Pol told IPE that the combination of changes in the pension and disablement arrangements would be detrimental to a successful implementation before the set date. He stated that at present the Dutch government is making the total project unnecessarily complicated and unworkable.

One of his major criticisms is the fact that the government is still putting new arrangements in place without discussing the matter with the parties involved. It seems like the government has its own strategic plan, no matter what the rest of the sector thinks, van der Pol stated. He also reiterated that most plans are known for the levensloop and pre-pension.

However, nothing has been decided yet by the other parties involved. As long as no deals have been made within the ongoing CAO rounds, no real implementation is possible for the pension funds and insurers.

According to van der Pol, even if new CAO’s are agreed upon soon, full implementation of the new deals, the setting up of the system and the need to inform the participating subscribers will need more than a year to become functional. He expects that all will need to be delayed until 2007 even that could be very optimistic.