NETHERLANDS - One of the largest Dutch pension funds, the €16bn PME, has stated that it has been forced to end immediately the possibility of taking VUT or TOP before 60.

Forced by the new measures implemented by the government regarding the VUT and pre-pension, a large amount of members have taken the opportunity of VUT and pre-pension.

This has put an increased financial pressure on the reserves of the metals industry scheme, which almost has been overextended.

TOP was implemented in 2003 for the older VUT arrangements in the sector. It offered employees born before 1953 to leave work at 61 with 80% of net salary. And they could also leave earlier, at age 58, with a lower pension.

The new government arrangements seem to have forced employees to take the opportunity to before it’s phased out.

The overall scheme has been financed via a special reserve, which was based on a solidarity premium, seven percent of salary.

But this has now been exhausted, which would have meant that to the fund would have been forced to increase the premium or finance the scheme out of its total reserves. This would have hit indexation.

PME has around 1,300 member firms.