NETHERLANDS - PGGM, the e56bn Dutch pension fund for social and healthcare workers, said that the government's new early retirement proposals were insufficient for the healthcare and social work sector and the fund has proposed an addition to the government's proposals.
The fund’s seven- point plan is based around the principle of participants being able to build up higher old-age pension rights, while remaining entitled to retire before they reach the age of 65, including the lower salaries.
PGGM’s proposals were presented to the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament on 10 September. The fund argues that as the healthcare sector involves physically tiring work on low wages, employees should have the opportunity to choose for themselves whether to carry on working longer or to retire earlier.
“Many of the jobs in the healthcare and social work sector involve mentally and/or physically tiring work. PGGM believes that employees should remain entitled to retire early, but also retain the right to continue working longer. The government recognises the need for this and has, therefore, offered to allow people to accrue pensions of up to 100% of their salaries.
“The government’s proposals do not, however, go far enough in a sector with relatively large numbers of low and average salaries. In PGGM’s view, offering participants a real choice should not be seen as a luxury, but instead as a necessity if these people are to enjoy a healthy old age,” fund said in a statement.
PGGM’s proposal enables employees to draw retirement pensions before the age of 65. They would, however, receive higher pensions if they chose to carry on working longer.
The fund also said that the lifestyle savings scheme (‘levensloop’) which allows employees to transfer their early retirement rights to a new individual arrangement was an “artificial construction” designed purely as a means of maintaining the state early retirement scheme.
The new scheme would also make it twice as expensive for participants as the existing prepension arrangements, the fund said.
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