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New pension system

There have been a lot of changes in Dutch society in recent years, for example in demographics, the economy, and the labour market. People are living longer. The proportion of people in work to those who have retired is falling. Moreover, people no longer work for the same employer all their working life, but change jobs or start a business more often.

It’s important for the pension system to keep in line with these developments. The Dutch Government and the employers’ and employees’ organisations have therefore concluded an agreement on new arrangements for pensions and the state old-age pension age. This webpage tells you about the main arrangements and about the further details of the pension agreement.

What remains unchanged?

Some important principles of the current pension system will remain unchanged. For example, the new pension system will continue to be based on solidarity and risk-sharing, for example in the event of death or incapacity for work. Participation in the pension scheme via your employer will also remain mandatory. Your employer will continue to contribute to your pension.

What will in fact change?

Pensions will move with the economy

The new rules will ensure that your pension will increase sooner if the economy is doing well. But it’s also more likely to decrease if the economy isn’t doing well. Your pension will thus move with the economy. Both young and old people will also receive the pension for which they (together with their employer) have paid.

This will be subject to specific rules so as to ensure that pensioners’ pension benefits fluctuate as little as possible.

Greater clarity about your own pension

You will soon be able to get a clearer idea of what you are contributing to your pension, what pension assets you are accruing, and how much pension you will later receive. Each year, your pension fund will calculate what your share is of the total “pension pot”. The investment results achieved in the course of that year will play a part in this. The results will be different each year.

What will happen next?

First of all, the Government must propose legislation for amending the Pensions Act (Pensioenwet). If the Dutch House of Representatives and Senate approve that legislation, then the new Pensions Act will enter into force. The new pension rules are expected to take effect on 1 January 2022. The employees’ and employers’ organisations will have time to agree on specific arrangements regarding the content of the pension scheme on the basis of the new legislation. Pension funds will have until 2026 at the latest to adapt pension schemes and administration systems accordingly.

The Act of Parliament regulating the slower increase in the state old-age pension age has been in force since 1 January 2020.