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Questions about the new pension system

Now that the new Dutch Future Pensions Act has taken effect, we can well understand that you have questions. We therefore answer the most frequently asked questions about the new pension system.


It may seem illogical to change one of the best pension systems in the world. However, new rules are needed, while preserving those that are good. This is because the current rules no longer match the present situation. For instance, people are living longer and no longer work for the same employer all their lives. In addition, the current rules make it difficult to increase pensions.

That is why the trade unions, employers and the government have agreed on rules more suited to the current situation. This is how we are preserving one of the best pension systems in the world.

The new rules apply to everyone, even if you have already retired. Whether your pension will be converted to a pension under the new rules depends on the agreements made by the social partners (trade unions and employers' organisations). Once the arrangements are finalised, we will let you know via the website and our newsletter.

Trade unions, employers and pension funds have until 1 January 2028 at the latest to switch to the new pension rules. But the switch may also take place earlier. The social partners have agreed that the new Koopvaardij scheme will come into force on 1 January 2026.

In the new pension system, there are two types of schemes. In the solidarity scheme, we absorb windfalls and setbacks together, investments are made collectively and pensions are more stable. In the flexible scheme, you have more influence on the risks involved in investing your pension. The social partners (trade unions and employers' organisations) in the merchant navy have yet to take the final decision, but at the moment they tend to prefer a solidarity-based defined contribution scheme. Once the arrangements are finalised, we will let you know via the website and our newsletter.

In the solidarity scheme, all pension assets are invested collectively, as they are now. There is no individual investment profile. However, we will invest by age group. This way, we ensure that young people can take more risk than those nearing retirement and pensioners. We will conduct regular surveys among members and pensioners. In this way we determine how much risk they are willing to take with their pensions.

The amount of your pension

What the new rules will mean for the amount of your pension is impossible to say for now. This does not just depend on the choices still to be made by the social partners. It also depends on the financial situation at the time of switching. So a reliable calculation per member cannot be made until we introduce the rules for pensions. You will receive a preliminary estimate just before the switch.

You can be confident that you will continue to receive a pension for as long as you live. That has been agreed under the new rules. Together, we ensure there is always a pension for you, no matter how old you become.

No, we fully understand that you do not want to be surprised by fluctuations in your income. We therefore adjust pensions no more than once a year and they remain stable for the rest of the year.

Because we need to keep less money available, your pension can increase more quickly when the economy is doing well. In less favourable times, it may also decrease. However, the fluctuations will be less if you are retired or nearing retirement. Moreover, we can absorb or mitigate setbacks in several ways. For example, by absorbing deficits in less favourable years with reserves from more favourable years (the 'solidarity reserve').

Taking retirement

Before the law was passed, the social partners already had busy consultations. For instance, they provisionally opted for a solidarity-based scheme. With this, we absorb windfalls and setbacks together, we share the risks and pensions are more stable. They have also expressed a preference for converting all accrued pensions to pensions under the new rules, known as 'conversion'. So it makes no difference whether you retire in the current scheme or the new one. You will also keep the same pension options in the new scheme. Translated with (free version)

As pensions move in line with the economy, falls can never be completely avoided. The new rules do however ensure that the fluctuations become less significant when you have retired or are nearing retirement. For example, by investing with less risk as you get older. This is because young people have more time to absorb investment setbacks. We can also keep pensions stable using a buffer for setbacks: the solidarity reserve. We build this up in more favourable times so that we can absorb or mitigate a pension fall in less favourable times.

Before the new scheme comes into force, we will make agreements with the social partners on how pensioners will be protected against fluctuations. For example, by making less risky investments for pensioners than for young people, who have more time to absorb setbacks. Or with the use of a buffer for setbacks: the solidarity reserve. We build this up in good times, so that we can absorb or mitigate a decline in pension in bad times.

What social partners do

The social partners are currently making agreements on a pension scheme that best suits our members. In doing so, all interests are carefully considered. The social partners aim to take the final decisions soon. Once the arrangements are finalised, we will let you know via the website and our newsletter.

What you can do yourself

As soon as there is news of interest to you, we will share it on the website and in our newsletterAre you not receiving this yet? Then please register. You do this via your mail preferences in My Koopvaardij. You can also visit, a dedicated government site (in Dutch) with news and information about the new pension system.

Employers’ organisations and trade unions make the arrangements for the new pension scheme. You can exercise influence via the union or an interest group.

  • If you build up pension with Bpf Koopvaardij and want to have a say in the new scheme, we recommend considering membership in Nautilus International.
  • If you receive pension via Bpf Koopvaardij, or if you previously built up pension at Bpf Koopvaardij, register with an association of pensioners or former merchant navy members and inform them of their rights to be heard. Social partners are legally obliged to submit the agreed arrangements to these associations and to request their opinion. However, conditions are attached to this right to be heard.

No, you cannot object individually. The social partners will decide whether to convert pensions that have already been built up. You cannot object individually. This is arranged in law. You can, however, influence the choices through a trade union or interest group.

As soon as it is clear when your pension will be adjusted, you will be notified by us automatically. You do not need to do anything yourself. However, it is a good idea to check your contact details in My Koopvaardij and adjust then if they are not correct.