Because the financial position of a number of large pension funds has deteriorated in the past quarter, the chance of lowering the pensions of many Dutch people in 2020 or 2021 has increased.
Metaalfonds PME asks the government to take measures to prevent the fund from cutting pension benefits.
In the final months of 2018, the pension funds suffered heavy blows due to the worldwide fall in share prices. As a result, earlier recovery was suppressed.
But if their so-called policy funding ratio does not reach the required level of more than 104 percent on time, the funds must lower their pensions. It is the indicator that indicates the extent to which the funds can meet their obligations.
PME director Eric Uijen thinks it is unjust that he may have to lower pensions on the eve of a new system. "We ask the government and the social partners to come to a solution as quickly as possible, and in the meantime, at least to ensure that no reductions have to be made."
Metal fund PMT is also not good for it
The situation is also starting to become acute at metal fund PMT. The deadline for PME and PMT will expire at the end of 2019 and pensions may therefore be able to go down next year. At the end of December, the policy funding ratio stood at more than 101 percent and 102 percent respectively.
"We can not explain to our participants why pensions should be reduced in a time of economic growth", says employee chairman Jos Brocken of PMT. An average pension at PMT is 600 euros per month.
Funds in other sectors are also in trouble
With a policy funding ratio of more than 101 percent, the PFZW health insurance fund was not in a good position either, but in principle still has to put things in order by the end of 2020. This also applies to civil service fund ABP.
At ABP, the gauge ended slightly below 104 percent. The largest fund in the Netherlands seemed to be on the road last year to rise above the required level, but a very bad fourth quarter threw a spanner in the works.
According to the sector, the extra acid is that the Hague pension consultations between trade unions, employers and the cabinet have been folded in November. The funds were hopeful that a large-scale reform of the pension system could help.
Of the large funds only BpfBOUW has been doing well for some time. Here the gauge is above 118 percent. In the fund for the construction sector, a pension increase was implemented at the beginning of this year for the second year in a row.