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New Dutch pension law proceeds

NETHERLANDS – The Dutch government is still going through the process of implementing the new pensions law – despite scepticism about whether it will be implemented by the January 1 2006 deadline.

Minister of social affairs Aart Jan de Geus has sent the proposed law to the Council of State, which advises the government and parliament on legislation and governance and is the country’s highest administrative court.

According to a ministry statement, the new law will give employees and pensioners more security regarding their future pension payments - largely guaranteed by new financial rules for pension funds, related to their liabilities and overall investments and capital.

Last month it emerged that de Geus didn’t expect the bill to be submitted to parliament any earlier than the second half of 2005 – which wouldn’t have given Parliament time to discuss it.

“I realise that the possibilities of implementation before January 1 are very limited,” he said in a letter. He added: “The implementation is not by definition tied to the start of any year, and therefore postponement of the implementation till January 2007 is not necessarily” a problem.

The mooted delay was seen as beneficial by Dutch pension industry players at the time.

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