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The new pension system: does it affect me too?

Hello, my name is Peter. I am a participant in the pension scheme of Pensioenfonds PGB. I like to stay informed about my pension because it concerns my income for later. With the introduction of the new pension system, my pension will also change. Therefore, I want to know what this means for me. In the coming period, I will look into this matter and share my findings via the website, the newsletter and in this magazine

The new pension system: does it affect me too? 
I ask myself, perhaps like you, what the new pension system really means. For years, people have been saying that the pension system must be changed. The government, various committees, the pension sector and other parties involved have been talking to each other for quite some time. But what the outcome of all those discussions is, I don't really know.

Now that a pension agreement has been reached between the social partners, I am freshening up my knowledge. In 2019, it was already agreed that the AOW (state pension) retirement age would rise less quickly. At the end of last year, the government translated the pension agreement into a draft bill. Everyone was allowed to respond to the draft bill. Pensioenfonds PGB also did so*.

The consequences of the new pension system for my pension
What is going to change? There are six important topics in the bill that was published on 16 December 2020.

- New pension contracts: pension assets instead of pension entitlements
  In the new pension system, there will be two pension contracts: one based on more collective pension assets
  and one based on individual pension assets with more freedom of choice. Everyone will build up a pension
  capital instead of pension entitlements. The pension capital moves up and down in line with investment returns.
  As a result, both positive and negative developments will affect participants and pensioners more quickly.

- A new way of accruing pension
  Pension accrual will be different. In the new system, everyone will contribute to a more personal pension capital,
  and that contribution will be the same for everyone. Because the contributions you pay at a younger age are
  invested for a longer period than those you pay at a higher age, the focus of pension accrual shifts to younger
  ages.

- Improving the dependant's pension and making it more transparent
  In the new system, all pension funds will be applying the same rules for the dependant's pension. Currently, two
  different systems are still being used. The surviving dependant's pension will therefore become more
  transparent. 

- 10% freely available pension
   Everyone is allowed to withdraw a maximum of 10% of their pension capital in one go on their retirement date.
   This provides more flexibility when you retire. However, bear in mind that your monthly pension will be lower if
   you choose this option. 

- Early retirement with retention of pension 
  It will become possible for an employer to contribute to early retirement without the tax authorities imposing an
  extra large tax assessment. This is possible from three years before the AOW (state pension) age. Employers
 and employees are already making agreements about this in a number of sectors. 

- Arrangements for self-employed persons are being looked into 
  There is a large group of self-employed persons who currently do not accrue any pension. In several sectors, the
  possibility of helping self-employed persons to accrue a pension via pension funds is being investigated. It
  remains to be seen whether the new legal framework will actually offer scope for this. 


Considering the interests of all parties involved 
I talked about these subjects with Jochem Dijckmeester, chairman of Pensioenfonds PGB. Because of course I want to know what all this means for my pension. ‘Most changes apply to the pension sector at large and therefore also affect Pensioenfonds PGB. In the coming period we will investigate all choices and their effects on our participants. We do this together with our employer and employee representatives and in consultations with participants and pensioners. In doing so, we will pay close attention to the interests of all parties involved. We investigate the consequences of the new pension contracts and the question as to which contract is suitable for a sector or company affiliated with us. We also look at the effect on the pensions already accrued. The change in the way pensions are accrued and the consequences of this for different groups of participants is also an important point of attention for us.’ 

The route to the new pension
Jochem shows me a timeline from which you can see that this is a long-term project. Jochem: ‘The tools we have as a pension fund are known. In other words, we know the issues that we will need to consider on the route to a new pension. The planning for the coming years is also becoming increasingly clear. But what this means for your personal pension situation is difficult to say at this stage.’

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Drawing up a roadmap
‘We responded to the draft bill in February 2021*. We are also working on a roadmap to define our route to the new pension. To this end, we are also holding exploratory talks with employers and social partners. Exactly what the rest of the year will look like depends on the Lower House elections on 17 March 2021. If the Lower House decides that this subject is for a new cabinet to decide, this will affect the date on which the new pension system will enter into effect. Our roadmap and the corresponding planning depend on this,’ Jochem says.

More about the new pension system
On the theme page the new pension system ,I share all my findings. Do you have a question about the new pension system which I might be able to answer? Or would you like to exchange ideas with Jochem in a digital participants meeting? Please let us know via: communicatie@pensioenfondspgb.nl

*Read here the response of Pensioenfonds PGB to the draft bill.