Henk Krol leaves House for evading pension premiums

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50Plus party leader Henk Krol, resigns from his position as representative of the people, after it has come to light that he evaded paying pension premiums for his staff for years.In a statement to the House, Krol writes he has no other choice but to resign from his position. Krol told NU.nl he does not want to elaborate on the letter. MP Norbert Klein will provisionally take his place.

Sebastiaan ter Burg
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As employer of the Gay krant, Krol did not pay the employer contribution to the retirement of its employees between 2004 and 2007 and in 2009. He also withheld the money that people put in themselves, according to De Volkskrant.

As a result, the employees have a pension gap of four to five years. They built up a pension that often does not exceed 60 euros per month, despite employment of twelve to fourteen years.

The staff wasn't told until mid-2007, after which they were required to sign a statement that they were abandoning their pension over the period of four years. If they would not sign the company would go bankrupt and not get any more loans from the bank, according to Krol. In March 2013 the Gay Krant still went bankrupt.

Krol kept tens of thousands of euros that were due to pension insurer Nationale Nederlanden. He claims not to be aware of the neglect. It was the responsibility of one of the employees who did not execute her job properly.

Krol has always kept pensions high on the political agenda of 50Plus. Just this past Thursday he asked questions on performance fees, paid by the ABP, which previously had to cut back because of the financial position of the foundation.  Late last year, he used the issue to win votes for the election of the House.

The trustee in the bankruptcy of the Gay Krant did not know, until now, of any unpaid pension premiums for employees in the past. There have been no claims of the pension insurer Nationale Nederlanden or benefits agency UWV, dealing with unpaid premiums,  explained assistant Ilona van de Klundert, employed by curator Louis Deterink.

The articles from DeVolkskrant are included in the study. It could have an impact. Founder Henk Krol can be held liable, which can also have criminal consequences, states Van de Klundert.

Early Friday morning Henk Krol wrote in an email he's a warrior in heart and soul, not a bookkeeper. He explained in the statement why he decided to resign from his position in the House.  Krol writes his battle is over, his enemies have won. Following the publication in De Volkskrant it's impossible for him to continue as a representative of the people.

He admits he made many mistakes, earning him many enemies in the process. To him, the battle has always been more important than the tokens.

Krol stresses the last few years he committed to serving the elderly, but it was also naïve to enter that battle so open-minded. He should have realized that everyone in The Hague is under a magnifying glass all the time. Every mistake from the past is weighed. As a 63-year-old, the second oldest member of parliament, he should have known he would have more luggage with the corresponding spots and odors, than politicians who become congressmen right out of school.

In 1979 Henk Krol founded the Gay Krant, which became one of the largest gay and lesbian magazines in Europe. In 2009, Krol received the first State Award for gay rights.