On Saturday 4 July, the FNV Members' Parliament approved the outline of the pension agreement. Earlier, the Members Council of De Unie adopted its position: 'no yes, no no'. How is that now and how will it continue?
Elaboration in outline
Last year, the majority of members of all trade unions voted 'yes' to the pension agreement. Subsequently, working groups set to work to further develop this agreement. What is now before us are the main effects. De Unie and its trade union VCP have indicated that they cannot say a wholehearted 'yes', but also no 'no' to these effects.
Most important issue
In particular, the compensation scheme for participants who are disadvantaged by the new system, as proposed by the Minister, cannot be supported by De Unie to calculate. Why not a full 'no'? The elaborations contain solutions that ensure that a number of disadvantages of the old system are canceled out. In the new system, for example, we let go of the disputed actuarial interest rate of almost zero percent. In the new system, more connection is sought with the return that pension funds actually make.
However, we do not want to speak of a casino pension. Realize that also in the old system the returns of pension funds are included in the result of each year. In the old, current system, the pension pot must then be passed on to the future with the actuarial interest rate of almost zero. In the new system, the pension pot may be calculated using a projected return, a form of an average actually realized return.
The projection efficiency allows for a better perspective. After all: it is unrealistic that pension funds will no longer achieve returns in the future. Will negative returns be achieved in the future after all? Then the pensions will be cut. But that is no different in the current system. In fact, the funding ratios of many pension funds are now under considerable pressure due to the current calculation method. By being allowed to include positive returns as projection returns for the future in the new system, an increase in pensions will be in sight sooner. Everyone then benefits from the realized and expected (projection) returns.
Why is the support of the FNV so important and so emphatically in the news? In order to implement legislation, broad support is needed in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Certain political parties only support the necessary legislation if the FNV is ahead. Now that they have said 'yes', there is sufficient support to proceed. The minister can now submit the necessary legislation to the Lower House.
Further elaboration is in a hurry
On Tuesday 14 July, the House will return extra from the summer recess to debate with the minister about reforms to the pension system. Certain laws are in a hurry and also benefit our members. For example, a law must be passed by both chambers this year to delay the increase in the AOW commencement date, but other legislation is also needed to further elaborate the main outlines. That is still complex. There are still many hurdles to overcome. Minister Koolmees has promised to prevent pension cuts in the current system in the coming year, provided that the funding ratio of a pension fund is at least 90 percent by the end of this year.
The influence of the VCP
The influence of De Unie comes into its own through the VCP. But isn't that VCP played out by a full 'yes' or 'no'? Certainly not! The VCP has since approached a number of political parties. Some MPs will ask a number of questions next week in which the VCP is literally mentioned. The VCP advocates a different, cost-neutral compensation scheme that can count on the support of trade unions and employers. According to the minister, this proposal cannot count on political support. The minister can then explain that to politicians. It is also strange, because his proposal will lock the labor market for a large group of employees. While modernization and flexibilization of the labor market is precisely a hobbyhorse of his own political party.
But even if the legislation takes shape, there are still many details to settle. In the interest of the members of De Unie we remain committed to a fair and better pension for young and old. Of course there are concerns. But by staying at the table, we exert influence. The starting point for De Unie is not to change, but to improve, and we like to do that in the interest of our members.
On our website we have a special page about the pension agreement and the latest developments. Do you still have questions? Don't hesitate to ask us! Our Service Center is available every working day from 8.00:18.00 am to XNUMX:XNUMX pm via email@example.com and 0345 851 963.