A focus on more than just an income
The set-up of our pension system not only requires a sustainable focus on work and income for the Netherlands of today and tomorrow, it is much broader than that. It also requires a sustainable focus on people, climate, and planet. This includes fighting poverty and hunger, ensuring safe working conditions, and clean water. And fair pay, equal opportunity, and access to education for all. This ambition is reflected in the United Nations’ (seventeen) Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. We, too, wholeheartedly endorse these globally broadly supported goals. They are a key guideline in our thinking and actions.
APG in society
We at APG not only feel responsible for ensuring a good income for people today, tomorrow, and beyond, we also want to be inspiring in contributing to the world in which pension fund members and beneficiaries save up for and enjoy their pensions.
In specific terms, we do so in a wide range of different ways. We set great store by bringing our expertise to the social debate about our future pension system, which revolves around aspects such as collectivity and solidarity. A lot will change over the coming decades: people will live to an older age, we will change our work habits, we will retire later, and jobs will change on the back of digitalization. Climate issues force us to go green faster and smarter. These and other trends in society have far-reaching impact on how we organize our pensions. We relish any opportunity to engage in dialog and debate about this with all possible stakeholders.
We at APG are committed to sharing our knowledge, which we do at conferences, in the media, in consultative bodies, and otherwise. Supported by scientific research, we contribute to the further development of knowledge in the area of pensions.
Support for social projects
We also specifically support projects that are close to our hearts. Loneliness in old age is one of the problems we are tackling by promoting social contact with and between elderly people. We do this through the so-called ZilverUitjes, which translates as “Silver Outings” and are events where we invite groups of local elderly people to our offices and treat them to an afternoon with high tea and music. These outings are organized and hosted entirely by APG staff.
The SWAP foundation is an initiative by APG staff that sees them support charities, both by raising funds and by actively working on projects in the areas of construction, education, and health care. All these efforts are geared towards improving conditions for people living in extreme poverty in developing countries in particular. APG workers helped build a shelter for neglected and traumatized children in Romania. And they built an education center in Tanzania.
We are also doing our bit for society closer to home. For example, we want to help youngsters prepare for their future in the labor market. One initiative we have launched in this respect is JINC (Jongeren INCorporated, which translates as “Young People INCorporated”). JINC introduces students from deprived neighborhoods to the labor market, giving them insights into what they can expect and into their own talents. We do so by immersing them into the workings of the labor market, which sees them introduced to all kinds of professions and industries by going on so-called ‘Language Trips’ and ‘Fast Internships’. And in the training sessions we organize for them, they learn all about planning, applying for jobs, and starting a business. We also offer social skills training.