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Dutch MPs back pension portability veto

EUROPE - Dutch MPs have almost unanimously passed a motion aimed at scuppering the European Union's controversial proposed directive on pensions portability.

The motion was brought by Pieter Omtzigt of the Christian Democrats, the main government party, and is the latest blow for the widely criticised measure, put forward last year by the Social Affairs directorate of the European Commission.

Omtzigt told IPE the motion is meant to force the Dutch government to veto possible implementation of the directive by the EU.

According to Omtzigt, the Dutch government has to block the proposed directive, as it has negative implications for the current pension system.

This view is supported by most other parties in the Parliament. Omtzigt also reiterated there will be a major problem during the forthcoming debates on the Pension Law if his motion is not adopted by the government.

The main reason for the motion, according to Omtzigt, was that the proposal contradicts the Netherlands' current capital funded pension system.

At the same time, Omtzigt and others have stated they are willing to assist other countries to change their current pay-as-you-go pension systems to capital funded ones. But the proposed directive gives no real room for this, it's claimed.

Omtzigt fears the directive would result in a depletion of the Dutch system, without giving enough backing to its financial future.

He explained the motion is a very hard instrument forcing the government to comply with current feelings. It also will mean, if the government is willing to comply, the first time that the Dutch will invoke their veto rights in the EU. Until now, Dutch position has been always to follow mainstream EU strategies and policies.

However, most Dutch MPs now feel the planned directive would not only constrain national pension systems but that it is a direct threat to the world's best funded system.

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