The new pension law will enter into force at least one year later than previously foreseen: on 1 January 2023, the plan of the demissionary Minister of Great Tit for Social Affairs is now the plan. This gives pension funds the opportunity to start the corresponding new pension scheme a year later: in 2027.
The time between the entry into force of the law and the entry into force of the system requires pension funds to move to the new system. Four years is the agreed deadline. “But the commitment of unions, employers, pension funds and myself is to keep that period as short as possible,” emphasizes Great Tit.
The Minister hopes that, as previously agreed, the new pension system will be able to enter into force in 2026. “But the risk of delay has increased.”
Complex and a lot of money
That the law comes into effect later has to do with the complexity, says Great Tit. “It‘s a very complicated issue, it’s about a lot of money, big interests. It has to be done carefully and unfortunately we need a little more time to do that.”
The main lines of the pension agreement were already agreed in 2019 and laid down in an agreement a year ago. At the heart of the new system is that no longer firm promises are made about the level of pensions, but that the benefit depends more on developments on the stock market. If the rates go up, pensions also rise; if the rates fall, the same applies to pensions.
Trade union CNV is not happy with the delay and fears that this will also delay the indexation of pensions, because it will make it easier to index within the new system. “With interest rates finally rising again, that would mean a prospect of indexation for many pensioners,” says pension negotiator Patrick Fey. He calls the delay “a serious setback for many pensioners”.
After pressure from employers and employees, Minister Great Tit will look to see if there can be indexed earlier, says the CNV. “We will keep the minister strictly to this for the coming year,” says Fey. “Too many people have been waiting for indexation for years.”
FNV is also disappointed with the postponement, for the same reason as the fellow trade union. “Indexation is important for all pension members, because many have not had an increase in many years,” says Willem Noordman. “That is why it is important that all parties involved continue to hurry.”
Minister Koolmees also addressed today the question of entitlement to a pension after 45 years of work. Earlier he wrote in a letter to the Court that such an arrangement is “not desirable”. That letter of the Chamber was withdrawn because it was sent too early.
The idea of retire people who have worked for 45 years is a wish of the trade unions, especially aimed at people with heavy professions.
According to the Minister, there are too many objections, for example because 45 years of employment is difficult to demonstrate and it is unfair for women who have more career breaks.
To accommodate people with heavy professions, Great Tit has now agreed that sectors themselves will make agreements in new collective agreements. The Cabinet is making EUR 1 billion available to enable such arrangements for the next four years. What needs to be done after that is still being discussed.