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Political Debate on Pension Law: VVD at Odds with PVV, NSC, and BBB

By our political editors

Jan 17, 2024 at 6:19 PM Update: 3 hours ago

In the debate on the pension law, the VVD is diametrically opposed to the three parties with which the liberals are at the formation table: PVV, NSC and BBB. The House of Representatives will debate the already adopted pension law on Wednesday.

“Let us please keep the church in the middle of the village,” VVD MP Thierry Aartsen said in the debate. The law was drawn up after years of negotiations and lengthy debate, he emphasized.

The House of Representatives adopted the pension law in December 2022. The Senate also agreed last spring. All pension funds must switch to the new system by January 1, 2028 at the latest. This is one of the largest reforms since the Second World War.

The House will debate the already adopted law on Wednesday, at the request of NSC MP Agnes Joseph. She requested a debate immediately after being sworn in as a Member of Parliament.

NSC wants referendum for pension funds

NSC wants pension funds to hold a referendum among their pension participants (pensioners and workers). Only if a majority votes in favor, such a pension fund may transfer the accrued pension to the new system.

“That may sound sympathetic, but appearances can be deceiving,” Aartsen said. According to him, younger participants are much less concerned with their pension than (almost) retirees.

There is fairly broad support in the House for a referendum in various forms, but it is still unclear whether the plan can actually count on a majority. Outgoing Minister Carola Schouten (Pensions) warned last month of the major consequences such a referendum would entail.

In addition, far-reaching adjustments to the already adopted pension law affect the reliability of governance, the minister warned on Wednesday. She also reminds MPs that their words in the debate hall of parliament have influence on bodies that are already preparing for the new system. According to Schouten, this causes unrest.

The BBB wants the law completely repealed. The PVV is also strongly opposed to the law, MP Edgar Mulder emphasized in the debate. But he did not want to say how his party will play in the negotiations.

In response to questions from other parties, Aartsen said that the VVD has no breaking points. Adjustments to the pension law are therefore not excluded. But he is “limitedly enthusiastic” about the plans of PVV, NSC and BBB.

The parties want preparations for the switch to continue

During the debate, the forming parties hardly visited each other, but they did receive questions from other MPs. They wanted to know what role the new pension system plays in the formation. Luc Stultiens (GroenLinks-PvdA) sees the mutual contradictions as a “new headache file” for the negotiations.

SP member Bart van Kent asked NSC, PVV and BBB whether, due to the new political reality in Parliament, they would ask the pension funds to “take care” in the preparation for the new system. The SP is against the new pension system.

PVV, NSC and BBB went along with this to a limited extent. VVD member Aartsen certainly wants the preparations to continue as usual. “The deadlines still stand to this day,” Aartsen said. “No one benefits from delays or ambiguity.”

2024-01-17 17:19:08
#VVD #diametrically #opposed #PVV #NSC #BBB #pension #law #Politics

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