Myth: The Future of Pensions Act was not sufficiently debated

Published on: 25 April 2024

A lot has been said and written about the new pension law that went into effect last year, yet misconceptions persist. In the series “Pension myths debunked”, we take a closer look at one myth at a time. We put the seventh one - the Future of Pensions Act was not sufficiently debated- to Julia Adam, strategic policy officer at APG. 

Some opponents of the Future of Pensions Act (Wtp) believe that the bill was rushed through the House and Senate. They say the bill was not sufficiently debated and the alternatives were not adequately weighed. Even now that the law - which went into effect in July 2023 - is in the implementation phase, some parties in the House of Representatives believe that the minister only wants to implement the law quickly and is not open to improvements in it. Rightly so? No, says Adam.

Five thousand parliamentary questions
“A lot of time was spent debating the Wtp in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. In total, over 125 hours were spent debating the bill. There were five technical briefings, 54 experts were heard by the House of Representatives and Senate, and a total of nearly five thousand written and oral parliamentary questions were answered. In addition, a two-day article-by-article commentary on the entire bill took place in the House of Representatives, something that generally never happens when a bill is debated. There is no doubt that the Future Pensions Act was dealt with by both Houses not only very extensively, but also at a very high level of detail.”


Due care and attention
In the run-up to the debate of the Wtp in the House of Representatives and the Senate and after the law came into force, there was also a lot of care and attention to detail, Adam argues.

“The discussion about the renewal of the pension system and a new pension contract has been going on since 2010. During that time, many alternatives have been explored. Eventually, the SER and the cabinet agreed on a pension deal. This was developed in consultation with the social partners and the pension field into the bill that led to the Wtp. So even before the discussion in parliament, there was broad support. And even after the Act went into effect on July 1, 2023, the Minister has still been conducting many debates on questions in the House of Representatives about the new legislation. Since the introduction of the Wtp, the minister has answered many parliamentary questions, is addressing members of parliament at length in debates and, in consultation with regulators and the sector, is working out issues arising from the new legislation.”  


Debate with care
For the coming months, Adam expects the same conscientious approach. “The Minister has promised that in the coming months a number of other bills will be presented to the House of Representatives related to the Wtp. We assume without question that the House of Representatives and the minister will debate these bills with care as well.”