Cabinet to restrict immigrant social security
9 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Cabinet intends to restrict immigrants' access to social security, Social Affairs State Secretary Henk van Hoof said on Wednesday.
9 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Cabinet intends to restrict immigrants' access to social security, Social Affairs State Secretary Henk van Hoof said on Wednesday.
In particular, the government intends to limit access to WW unemployment benefits and the AOW old age pension, RTL News reported.
A letter from Van Hoof to MPs indicated on Tuesday that the cabinet intends to investigate whether it is possible to force would-be immigrants to take out insurance to guarantee a sufficient pension.
Immigrants would be requested to pay a lump sum prior to gaining permission to enter the Netherlands.
The government's plan means that those who cannot take pay the lump sum — and therefore will not gain a full AOW pension — will not have the pension supplemented by social security.
The consequences of the proposal for people who come to the Netherlands for work — including "knowledge workers" — will be included in the study, Van Hoof said.
Currently, immigrants gain 2 percent of the AOW pension for every year spent in the Netherlands means. If an immigrant arrives at the age of 30 and works until the age of 65, he or she will have built up 70 percent of the pension.
Van Hoof is proposing that immigrants pay a "catch-up rate" to eliminate the inequality of pensions paid to people born in the Netherlands and immigrants.
Dutch people start building up their old age pension from the age of 15.
Meanwhile, the cabinet is also considering preventing immigrants from coming into consideration for WW unemployment benefit after an agreed, but as yet unspecified, period.
And the time in which an immigrant's residence rights are dependent on having a Dutch partner will be extended from three years to five years.
An exemption will be granted to immigrants who are actively involved in integrating themselves into Dutch society.
Immigrants who no longer have the right to reside in the Netherlands and lodge an appeal will be refused social security.
The cabinet also intends to better apply regulations governing social security for immigrants by closer co-operation between the immigration service IND and municipal councils.
Recognising that rights to social security must be built up, the government also said it will honour international treaties governing welfare and the subsequent obligations.
The cabinet is working towards creating a balance to prevent immigrants flowing into the social security system and income protection for those who have been here for a longer period of time.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news