MPs near agreement on pension reforms

The Cabinet, governing groups and the opposition parties D66, ChristenUnie and SGP have reached an agreement on tightening the pension rules, Z24 reports.

The ChristenUnie and SGP previously threatened to block the plans. The were given concessions on some points, but the main outlines of the legislative proposal remain the same.

An important part of the bill is that pension funds are required to hold higher financial buffers from next year. This is to prevent them from getting into financial trouble in the future. Therefore pension funds will find it less easy to increase their benefits (indexing). That regime has been somewhat relaxed under pressure from the ChristenUnie and SGP. Pension funds that have everything in order, may index faster. According to the bill this would have been done over a period of 10 years, but this has been changed to 5 years.

The rules to reduce pension contributions have also been relaxed. Research will also be done into the low interest rates that pension funds must use to determine whether they can afford to pay the pensions. Some feel that the interest rate could be set higher.

According to Z24 the agreement between the coalition and opposition was reached a few days ago. The Second Chamber will discuss Secretary of State Jetta Klijnsma's (Social Affairs) bill on Monday.

D66 Parliament Member Steven van Weyenberg said in a response that he is satisfied that the core of the bill remains. According to him the pension risks are thereby spread evenly over the generation. The fact that pension funds will have to hold higher buffers, is beneficial for both young people and workers. reports that the CDA and SP adamantly oppose the new pension rules. "This is a case of overkill, the Netherlands receives the strictest pension rules in the world. " says Pieter Omzigt. According to the SP the pension funds survived the crisis with flying colors.