NETHERLANDS - Three Dutch pension umbrella organisations have complained about a "seriously inadequate" law which has imposed health care deductions to the paid-out pensions of retirees living abroad.
The Dutch Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds (VB), together with Dutch corporate pension fund association OPF and the Unie van Beroepspensioenfondsen (UvB) for professional pension funds, complained about the law’s lack of clarity and failure of communication. In an open letter to Hans Hoogervorst, minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, they pointed to the difficulties faced by pension funds in the second pillar who are legally obliged to deduct the premiums of health care insurance from the pensions paid out to pensioners living abroad. Due to a recent judgement the health care contributions must be in line with the cost of health care in the country of residence.
For most of the countries the revised contributions are much lower than the original ones. Nevertheless the ministry wants pension funds to deduct the higher premiums.
The new law, enshrined within the framework of the care insurance law, has been effective since 1 January 2006.
VB said an earlier proposal put forward by the organisations to reach a solution which pensioners would find more comprehensible slid by the ministry, hence their decision to draw attention to the problem with an open letter. By Lisa Haines
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