Dutch Employment Minister Piet Hein Donner and his deputy Jette Klijnsma have rejected union plans to exclude workers in heavy industrial jobs from the new pension law. If passed, the law, which is currently being debated in the Netherlands, will raise the national pension age to 67.
The Dutch lower house is also sceptical about the plan. The FNV trade union federation has proposed that everyone earning less than 35,000 euro a year should have the right to retire at 65. Most heavy industrial work falls within this category.
Employers are more accepting of the trade union plan. However, the government doubts this will solve the problem of employees in heavy jobs having to continue work to 67. The ministers say that they would prefer to institute schemes to help all workers reach the new pensionable age in good health. This will mean retraining people in good time for lighter work.
According to the ministry, the trade union plan does not deal with this issue at all. The Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats currently in government say they are awaiting the final plans from the trade unions and employers, which have been in the pipeline for some time. The plans are due to be presented in the Dutch lower house on 20 January 2010.
Photo: dutch trade union demonstration against new retirement age (Flickr / fnvbouwfoto's)