Our stance on payment arrears and payment deferral requests is in line with current government policy.
I am not able to meet my premium payments. How will this affect my pension scheme?
We understand that the current situation is having an effect on your organisation. Unfortunately, we cannot change the instalments set by the Dutch Pensions Act (Pensioenwet). We have, however, joined forces with other pension providers and started lobbying the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) to make allowance for coronavirus, and temporarily ease the rules in Section 29 of the Dutch Pensions Act. We will let you know if we have any news on this front and up to such a time, Section 29 of the Dutch Pensions Act will remain in force.
You will be subject to our payment arrears regulations if you were in arrears on payments
before 1 March 2020, as these arrears were not caused by coronavirus.
Pension contributions covered by the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for the Preservation of Employment (NOW)?
The government is trying to help employers and employees in these difficult times by introducing measures to protect incomes and jobs. One such measure is NOW. The employer pension contribution is covered by this scheme.
Read more how NOW works
Can I invoke the payment disclaimer?
A significant change in circumstances entitles you to reduce or terminate the premium payments. An article in your administration agreement elaborates on this in further detail, based on Section 12 of the Dutch Pensions Act.
Articles per agreement
- Zwitserleven NuPensioen: article (4.2) ‘Amendments to the Pension Agreement’.
- Zwitserleven Exclusief Pensioen: article ‘Rights reserved by Employer’
- i-Pensioen ‘paragraph 3 ‘A significant change in circumstances’ of article ‘Rights reserved to make amendments’.
If you invoke the payment disclaimer, you will not qualify for the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for the Preservation of Employment (NOW). You will also be required to have an auditor’s report drawn up. This means an accountant will have to evaluate your company’s ability to continue as a going concern and will be required to record his or her evaluation in the auditor’s report.
Partial unemployment benefits (Reduction of working hours scheme)
When you have requested partial unemployment benefits for all or a portion of your staff, it may affect their pension.
At Zwitserleven, pension accrual and coverage are directly linked to pensionable term of service as well as the pensionable salary. If there is a reduction in the pensionable term of service, the participant will accrue less pension and will have less cover in the event of illness or death. These pension amendments will occur either in the month that the reduction occurs or at the start of the following calendar year, depending on the pension commitment.
The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration also provides employers with the opportunity to opt for pension accrual over the full salary, as it was before the reduction of working hours scheme was implemented. To find out more about this, please read the Tax and Custom Administration’s ‘Question and Answer 20-004’ section.
Please let us know if your staff’s salaries are linked to our system so that we can ensure incorrect salaries are not entered into our records.
Potential pension scheme cuts
You do have options that can help reduce your pension expenses, such as: temporarily halving old-age pension accrual, putting the pension scheme on hold for a few months or increasing employee contributions. These types of changes will require the consent of all pension scheme participants and will usually mean the pension scheme needs to be amended. Please consult your adviser to find out more about the options available to you.
Rebalancing and life cycle investing – how does it work?
Zwitserleven sets certain bandwidths. The assets are rebalanced as soon as a bandwidth is affected. The bandwidth has a 15% relative margin. This means rebalancing occurs as soon as a fund, comprising 50% of a life cycle, undergoes a weight increase or decrease of 7.5%.