The FNV members' parliament did not vote on Friday to elaborate the pension agreement, the union said in a press release. The union's main body was supposed to vote on it on Friday morning, but the vote could not take place because too few members had logged in. The vote has now been postponed for two weeks.
FNV chairman Han Busker emphasizes in a statement that the interpretation has not been voted out. "I would have liked to have made a decision today, but part of the Members' Parliament is not ready yet. We want to do this carefully," said the union president.
That is why Friday's meeting was not used to vote, but to answer questions from MPs about the interpretation of the pension agreement, FNV writes. The vote on the interpretation of the pension agreement has now been postponed by two weeks to Friday 4 July. Then the union hopes to come to a decision.
The voice of FNV is important and would be the last hurdle for Minister Wouter Koolmees (Social Affairs) to guide the elaboration of the pension agreement through the Council of Ministers. Then the House of Representatives and the Senate would consider it.
Koolmees: 'Very annoying and I am disappointed'
For Koolmees, this outcome is a damper. "I was very hopeful, because we had a nice agreement," said the minister in an explanation. Last week, the parties involved, including the unions, seemed to agree after days of intensive consultation between employees, employers and the cabinet.
Koolmees had hoped to guide the pension agreement for the summer through both Houses, but that route seems far away with the postponement. The summer holiday for parliament starts on 3 July.
Koolmees: "I find it very annoying and I am disappointed, but it is no different."
Pension file has a long and difficult road
The pension file has come a long and difficult way. Initially, a broad agreement was reached a year ago between employers, employees and the cabinet. A breakthrough that only came after ten years of negotiations, with occasional intervals.
It stopped again when the agreement was worked out. Until last week, when the parties involved announced that there was a breakthrough. As the backlogs had yet to be consulted, no details have yet been disclosed.
So they are still not there. The main features were announced. For example, the state pension age is rising less quickly, an agreement that was made last year.
It has also been agreed that pensions will become less certain. Strict calculation rules can therefore be thrown overboard, as a result of which pension discounts will apply less quickly.
A major obstacle is the situation for the over-35s
A major obstacle is compensation for workers aged 35 and older in the transition to a new system. Now all participants in the same pension fund pay the same premium. At first sight that may seem fair, but it is no longer.
After all, the pension contributions of young people pay longer than those of older members. This is not a problem if someone saves his pension for the whole of his life with the same employer, but times on the labor market have changed. Employees change jobs or become self-employed later in their career.
This form of pension savings, the so-called average system, is therefore being abolished. The over-35s must then be compensated for their 'overpaid' pension contributions.
Cut off many pensions next year
It has been agreed in the short term that many discounts will also be postponed for many pensions next year in view of "the very exceptional economic situation".
In practice, this means that pensions will not have to be cut next year if the funding ratio is above 90 percent. The funding ratio is the ratio between the assets and all pension entitlements combined. At 100 percent, there is just enough money in cash to meet the pension obligations.
This relaxation does not mean that all discounts have been canceled. The financial situation of some funds is still too bad for that. Ultimately, the situation on the last day of the year is examined to determine whether the pensions have to be cut, remain the same or can rise with the prices (indexation).
See also: Pension agreement: no more hard promises and no more actuarial interest