NETHERLANDS - A pensions umbrella group has told the government the current pension system should be left alone and said they should rather work on clarifying their long term vision for the system.
The group suggested that, rather than seeking to raise the retirement age - the government should look to bolster employment numbers in those aged 55-65.
The umbrella group comprised of the Association of Business Sector Pension Funds (VB), the Companies Pension Fund Foundation (OPF) and the Union of Professional Pension Funds (UVB).
"About 40% of the age group from 55 to 65 is employed... so by raising the labour participation in this age group there is much to gain," said Gerda Smits
senior communications staff member at VB.
"For the short term the current system is okay. For the long term a vision on labour participation and the greying population is needed. That’s why VB, OPF and UVB ask the politicians in their position paper to develop a long term vision."
The countries' largest pension fund, the e194bn ABP, also made its voice on the matter heard, and said in its positional paper that at present there was no need for reform of the Dutch pension system.
Calculations by the CPB - the government agency which projects the government budget - show that the rise in cost of the pay-as-you-go state pension is completely covered by extra tax revenue stemming from a rise in second pillar pension benefits," ABP said.
"So the Dutch pension system is perfectly prepared for the ageing of the Dutch population."
It did however concede that the CPB's projections could change in the future, as currently those projections assume a rise in life expectancy of one year for females and two years for males: "When life expectancy turns out to be higher however, there will be a financing problem in the pension sector. At such a moment one could consider to raise the retirement age. At this moment there is no need for that however."
Another issue taken up by the umbrella group, who claimed their views were largely representative of the Dutch pension fund industry as a whole, also came out in opposition to 'creaming off' the pensions of those with supplementary income, and added: "Occupational pensions are based on collectivity and solidarity. Creaming off the pensions limits these principles," said VB's Smits.
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