In my last opinion piece, I discussed the compensation scheme that should apply to new employees in all cases. The documents for the second round of questions and answers between the Minister and the Lower House (published on 30 June this year), reveal the following, among other things.
By: Berry van Sonsbeek, Product Market Manager Zwitserleven
If compensation is agreed outside the employment condition of pension, for example in the form of a salary supplement, this does not necessarily have to be offered to new employees. It is still the case that the government has a preference for compensation schemes that are within the pension scheme, however this is not consistent with what they published in an earlier reply to questions on 23 May. See the following quote from the questions and answers.
Let's call it a 'slip of the pen'. Whereas previously it appeared that they wanted to prevent new participants from being disadvantaged and thus avoid effects on the labour market, now they are opening the door again to compensation in the form of a salary supplement. While this is something that they don't really want.
If we follow the government's preference, then it is logical to include compensation within the pension scheme. After all, compensation is available because people will lose out in the new system. Compensation that is not included in pension entails the direct risk that participants will be faced with a much lower pension on their retirement date than was expected under the old system.
So as long as the new law has not yet passed the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament, this is something that we will have to keep our eye on. This does not make it any easier to make decisions in ongoing consultative processes that anticipate new legislation.
The members of the VVD party ask whether employers are obliged to offer compensation outside the pension domain to new employees as well. The government states that its preference is for compensation to be allocated within the pension scheme, as this will ensure its allocation as pension. However, employers and employees (and their representative organisations) are free to agree on compensation outside of the employment condition of pension, for example in the form of a salary supplement. Contrary to what was stated in the previous answer of 23 May, it is not the case that this bill explicitly stipulates that compensation outside the pension domain should also be offered to new employees. The proposed section 150f of the present bill is in fact limited to the pension domain. For this reason, compensation through pensions is fully regulated by law, but other forms of compensation are not. The proposed article 150d does stipulate that compensation outside the pension domain must be included in the transition plan. If the compensation agreed by the social partners, employers and employees were not to be offered to new employees, and they were therefore treated differently from existing employees, it would make sense for this to be stated in the transition plan.
This article is published on 08 July 2022