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.
Metal fund PME even asks the government to prevent measures to cut the benefit to the elderly.
In the final months of 2018, the sector was severely hit by the worldwide falling 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 they 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 cabinet and the social partners to come to a solution as quickly as possible, and in the meantime 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. For PME and PMT, the deadline expires at the end of 2019 and pensions can therefore already be reduced next year. Their policy funding ratio at the end of December was more than 101 and 102 per cent respectively.
"We can not explain to our participants why pensions should be reduced in a time of economic growth", says employee chairman of PMT Jos Brocken.
An average pension at PMT is 600 euros per month.
Funds in other sectors are also in trouble
With a score of more than 101 percent, the PFZW health insurance fund was not in a good position either, but, like the ABP civil service fund, in principle, it still has until the end of 2020 to put things in order.
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.
Extra acid according to the sector is that the Hague pension consultations between trade unions, employers and the cabinet were folded in November. The funds hoped that a large-scale reform of the pension system would help them.
Of the large funds, only BpfBOUW has been doing well for a while. 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.