Netherlands - Unions divided over pension accord - June 30, 2011

In early June and after long negotiations, the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, employers’ associations and union confederations presented a basic pension accord, that will see the pension age increased from 65 to 66 in 2020 and then to 67 in 2025 and also includes a new calculation basis for employers’ and employees’ contributions. FNV union confederation president Agnes Jongerius defended the accord and announced that it would be subject to a vote by the affiliates’ membership. In the course of the month, the assumptions on which the accord is based came under heavy criticism form various sides, also from within the union movement. The board of large private sector union, FNV Bondgenoten, opposed the accord, and announced to organise its own vote. Its chairman, Henk van der Kolk, calls the accord in its current form “unclear, not sensible, and unfair,” the latter notably for low-paid working in demanding occupations. Public services union FNV Abvakabo also shows major concerns about important elements in the accord. Both unions argue that it shifts too much risk onto employees in the event of bad investment returns and allows too much leeway for the pension funds to deal as they like. In early July, the FNV confederation and FNV Abvakabo will try an ultimate effort to close the FNV ranks.

Dutch: NRC-Handelsblad, 25/26, 29 and 30 June 2011; De Volkskrant, 23 and 30 June;;


This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) You may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2011.


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