NETHERLANDS – SER, the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands - the main advising council to the Dutch government – is refusing greater flexibility in the AOW, the first-pillar pension.

It plans to tell the government that the first priority at present should be to remove all legal obstacles constraining employees and employers to work until 65.

The comments come in a statement made by a SER committee under Professor Kees Goudswaard ahead of advice to deputy social affairs minister Henk van Hoof on March 17.

The SER advice also emphasises the need for having the right of dismissal when reaching the pension age of 65 in collective labour agreements, which it says is covered by existing legislation.

SER says it should be possible, if both employer and employee agree, to work after 65 because current legal frameworks already give room for this.

And it says these issues should be dealt with at a decentralised level, that’s to say social partners, to implement a more flexible and appropriate way of dealing with post-65 labour contracts.

This will have to take into account the growing role of flexible pensions.