What was the most important news on politics, the economy and pensions in the past few days? And what is listed on the agenda for the weeks to come? These are the highlights.
On the agenda
(All hyperlinks lead to Dutch pages)
- Round-table discussion National Growth Fund – October 28th
- Round-table discussion AOW (state pension) gap and self-employed – October 29th
- Round-table discussion Pension agreement – November 3rd
- Round-table discussion Pension agreement – November 4th
- Round-table discussion Housing shortage starters and median incomes – November 4th
- Plenary debate Law on Division of Pension in case of Divorce 2021
- Plenary debate Budget Ministry of Economic Affairs and National Growth Fund
- Plenary debate Tax plan (including votes)
- Plenary debate Budget Social Affairs and Employment
- General consultation Pension topics – December 1st
News overview week 43
The Lower House of Parliament was in fall recess up to and including October 25th, 2020.
Monday, October 19th
Henk Krol ended his collaboration with member of the Upper Chamber of Parliament, Henk Otten, left his own Partij voor de Toekomst and has the intention to establish a new party with the working title Henk Krol. (Read his statement on Twitter.) “It would have been better if we never started it”, says Henk Otten in a response.
Employers and employees’ organizations (once again) call on the public in a joint statement issued by the Labor Foundation to work from home as much as possible.
The round-table discussion in the Lower House of Parliament on the pension agreement on November 4th is expanded with three ‘sessions’ on November 3rd from 17:30 to 20:15 o’clock with: FNV (trade union) and VNO-NCW (employers’ organization), Verbond van Verzekeraars (Dutch Association of Insurers) and Koepel Gepensioneerden and KBO/PCOB (seniors’ organization). Derived from the position paper of KBO-Brabant: “KBO-Brabant rejects the pension agreement and the further elaboration thereof”.
Former DNB member John Landman will be the new director of PFZW. He succeeds Peter Borgdorff, who will retire as of January 1st, 2021.
Prof. Dr. Paul Hilbers, until recently Director Financial Stability at DNB, will be the new administrator at the IMF as of November 1st.
The criticized Job-related investment discount (BIK) the Cabinet intends to implement in order to increase investments, ‘barely’ has an effect on employment and the economy, according to CPB. However, the official recommendations speak for themselves. VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland - the inventors of BIK - stand by their beliefs in a response, saying that the BIK does exactly what it’s intended for, which is to bring back corporate investments at its former level.
Tuesday, October 20th
ABP offers participants an online test calculation as of today, visualizing the effect of a discount on the net pension. The calculation module shows the consequences of a discount of 1 percent, 2.5 percent and 5 percent.
The National Study on Employment Conditions of Intermediair and APG, conducted among nearly 7,000 people, shows that pension is one of the most important employment conditions.
Most employees consider the lack of a pension scheme and no outlook on a permanent contract the most important reasons for them not to sign the contract.
The European Commission launches the first part of the issuance of SURE bonds. These AAA social bonds are intended to finance reduced working hours in order to protect the jobs that were jeopardized in the several member states due to the COVID-19 crisis. The EU raised a total of 17 billion euro. Investors subscribed to fourteen times more this amount (233 billion euro).
APG and PGGM have invested 170 million and 212 million respectively in the EU bond (ABP 140 million). The EU, in addition to the 100 billion of SURE, will withdraw another 750 billion euro from the market in favor of the Corona recovery fund in the years to come. Read the article here on PensioenPro.
In the annual Global Pension Index of Mercer, the Netherlands continue to hold position 1 of the world, above Denmark. Israel has overtaken Australia and holds position 3 this year (the country has a universal state pension and private pension schemes with mandatory contributions from employers and employees).
Wednesday, October 21st
DNB calls on pension funds - insofar this has not been done yet – to enter into a conversation with British investment providers in a timely manner and to set the necessary actions in motion in order to prevent the occurrence of bottlenecks in the service provision starting January 1st, 2021. Bottlenecks in, for example, continuing and not cleared OTC derivative contracts.
A new type of pension bond, that will only start paying coupons after retirement, can be a simple solution for people who are not accruing pension and don’t want or are unable to explore pension matters, according to Professor Robert Merton during the virtual World Pension Summit 2020.
The national debts in the euro zone have risen significantly in the second quarter as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The debt increased to an average of more than 95 percent of the gross domestic product (bbp). That percentage was still 86.3 in the first quarter. The budget deficit also increased significantly and ended up at the highest level ever measured, up to an average of 11.6 percent versus 2.5 percent in the first quarter.
Thursday, October 22nd
The United Kingdom and the European Union resume the negotiations on Brexit.
DNB responds to the expected slowdown of the wage growth as a result of COVID-19.
Friday, October 23rd
Madeleine van Toorenburg (Vice-President CDA) will not return to the Lower House of Parliament following the elections. She states her exit is aimed to give way to new talent.
The FT publishes an article stating that the secondary market is developing positively for the SURE bonds issued this week by the European Commission. Calculated with reference to the market price, the financing costs of the EU for these bonds are lower than the financing costs of France.
The European Council issues a fact sheet containing the EU objective on climate neutrality at the end of 2050.
Prime Minister Rutte welcomes the chairwoman of the European Commission, Von der Leyen, for a working dinner. It involves an informal meeting on, among other things, the fight against the Coronavirus, Brexit and the climate.
A shrinking economy and an increasing indebtedness does not restrain credit rating agency Fitch to award the Netherlands again with the AAA status, as shown by the most recent rating. “The government's policy response to the Coronavirus pandemic is causing the Netherlands' public debt ratio to rise further above the 'AAA' median. Nevertheless, a strong track record of sound fiscal management underpins our view that the debt ratio will stabilize or decline over the medium term after the pandemic subsides.”