No retirement agreement yet
The government and the opposition parties CDA, D66, ChristenUnie, GroenLinks, and SGP will not reach an agreement this week on the retirement plans.
At a meeting Wednesday between Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Minister of Finance, and the pension representatives of these parties and the coalition parties some minor progress was made, but an agreement is still far off.
The parties will continue the negotiations on Monday morning, because Dijsselbloem has European obligations till then. The government's plan to reduce the annual pension buildup from 2.25 to 1.75 percent of the income in 2015 is at stake.
The plan, which would earn the Treasury nearly 3 billion euros, did not make it in the Senate, where the government parties VVD and PvdA don't have a majority. So now the government seeks support from the opposition.
The five opposition parties find the plan of the government too far-fetched. They demand a higher pension buildup. That can easily cost hundreds of millions or even more than one billion, depending on the chosen option, which would mean alternative cuts would be needed.
The opposition wants more guarantees that pension premiums will lower if there is less accumulation possible and there needs to be a pension fund for zzp'ers (freelancers).
The atmosphere at the negotiations is positive, but the problem at hand is an extremely complicated one, according to D66 MP Steven van Weyenberg. He does not dare predict whether an agreement will be reached next week, nor do any of the other stakeholders.