The government is prepared to relax the pension rules for years


The cabinet is prepared to relax the pension rules for years, until the introduction of the new pension system in 2026. This will avert a large part of the imminent pension cuts.

Unions and employers had called for this relaxation. They want to avoid major pension cuts and premium increases, especially as the transition to a new system is being prepared in the coming years. That “undermines people’s confidence,” said FNV vice president Tuur Elzinga.

Minister Wouter Koolmees (Social Affairs, D66) now agrees. “This transition period benefits from peace and stability,” he wrote to the House of Representatives on Monday evening.

It is the third time that Koolmees has announced a relaxation of the discount rules. Pension funds that were supposed to cut last year were allowed to postpone that cut for another year. In June, Koolmees said he is extending this arrangement for a year. This means that funds should only cut back next year if they are in particularly bad shape on New Year’s Eve. That is the case if they then have 10 percent too little cash in hand to be able to pay their future benefits.

Also read: Why cutting pensions is so difficult for politicians

What the relaxation announced on Monday, for the period from 2022, will look exactly, will be announced by Koolmees later this year.

Without these more flexible rules, large-scale pension cuts would still be necessary in 2022, Koolmees writes. According to a calculation by the regulator De Nederlandsche Bank – if the situation on the financial markets does not change – more than ten million pensions with forty funds would then have to be reduced by an average of more than 10 percent.

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