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Pension Planning
and Advice

Work Councils

Pensions are an important part of a company’s labour conditions. Because of this, Work Councils (Ondernemingsraad) in the Netherlands have a meaningful role in their companies’ pension schemes. This applies in particular to collective pension schemes.

The changing pension legislation scenario, for example the raising of the pensionable age (Witteveen Act) is making pension issues more complex. miQ in business supports Work Councils to exercise their right of consent by being fully informed. We can help them – or indeed employers facing merges, take-overs and changing organisational structures – understand and calculate the consequences of changing legislation on the organisation. In the Netherlands, pensions are considered a part of labour contracts and of labour conditions. A well-considered decision is thus critical.

The staff representative has the right to give advice to management on pension regulations. Here too miQ in business can play a strategic role in helping the representative to understand the implications of any changes.

What is the role of the Work Councils in pension issues?

The Work Councils Act (WOR) decrees that employers first consult the Work Councils on any introduction, change or termination of pension funds and obtains its consent. Any arrangements made by the collective labour agreement (CAO) falls outside the Works Council remit. Many collective labour agreements have a sector-wide pension fund (BPF), and some may have a company pension fund (OPF). These funds have their own management that take important decisions.

Companies that do not fall under a pension fund often have a special insurance scheme. In this scheme, the employer offers a pension plan to an employee – specified in the labour contract – which is covered by an insurance company. If any changes are to be made, the Works Council has the right to consent to the changes.

miQ in business is highly experienced in guiding and advising Work Councils in all issues related to insured pensions.

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