According to the Spring Accord, the budget deal agreed upon by a five-party coalition three weeks ago, the pensionable age will rise by one month next year, followed by one-month increases in 2014 and 2015. After that, the pensionable age will rise by two months a year before rising to 66 in 2019.
Dutch people will be eligible for retirement at the age of 67 in the year 2023; that's one year earlier than originally announced by five-party coalition three weeks ago.
The retirement provisions in the Spring Accord sweep away the deal that the Cabinet had finally managed to agree with the unions after long and difficult negotiations. That agreement saw the pensionable age rise from 65 to 66 in 2020 and then to 67 in 2025.
The chair of the largest Dutch union, the FNV, said she was extremely disappointed by the news. Agnes Jongerius said, "It’s even worse than we had originally thought. It's not only the rapidity of the rise of the pensionable age but the uncertainty this creates for people who have taken early retirement and those who have almost reached retirement age."
Jongerius says those groups will be far worse off due to the more rapid increase, adding that she is not looking forward to the rest of the bad news in the five-party agreement. She called on outgoing social affairs minister Henk Kamp to provide some clarity over the pensions issue as soon as possible.
The outgoing cabinet hopes to officially present the Spring Accord at the end of next week; until then, the social affairs minister will not be able to meet with the unions.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide