Dutch agree pensions reform

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Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced that the government, employers and unions have reached agreement on pensions reform.

“We’ve signed an accord for the future,” he said, describing the document as “a good pensions agreement, which will ensure that the pension system remains solid and affordable for the future”.

The most important change will be the age at which people can draw their state pensions: in 2020, this will be raised from 65 to 66. The pensionable age will then be coupled to increasing life expectancy and is forecast to go up again to 67 in 2025.

Demographic change Under the agreement, the state pension payment will increase by 0.6 percent above inflation every year, starting in 2013. People who choose to stop working earlier than the official pensionable age will receive less state pension.

The reforms are designed to counter the strain on the pension system caused by increasing life expectancy. It is also estimated that they will save the government about four billion euros.

Accord not definite yet Although the reforms have been agreed by the FNV trades union federation, the agreement still has to be accepted by a vote of FNV members. The largest individual union in the FNV is advising its membership to vote against the deal.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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