Belgian dockworkers have signed an agreement with their employers to set up a new pension scheme, with a decision on the direction of the fund likely in May
Following collective bargaining processes between the parties, it was agreed that the fund will have around 7,000 members and will be operational from January 1, 2002. Contributions are payable from May 1, 2001.
President of the Belgian dockworkers association (CEPA) in Antwerp, Francois van Geeld, said that although the annual contribution is 2% of the workers' wages, the scheme would still have to take tax deductions into consideration.
All contributions will be paid into a new account within the sector's existing unemployment scheme and outsourced to a group insurance plan.
Van Geeld said that CEPA, dockworkers and their employers still needed to discuss the size of the fund and how it will be invested and administered. The negotiating parties hope to reach an agreement later this month.
By Janet Du Chenne
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