‘The new pension system is better in line with these times’

25 July 2022

‘We have one of the best pension systems in the world’, says Renate Pijst, director of Ahold Delhaize Pension.

‘However, some aspects can be improved. That is why the Dutch pension system is being adjusted, so that it is better in line with these modern times.’

Why does the pension system need to change?
‘Because society is changing. People no longer work at the same employer their entire life, but change jobs or start working for themselves. It is also a factor that we are growing older and older. Another reason is that the financial rules are no longer working very well anymore. In recent years, pension funds have not or have barely been able to index (increase) the pensions whilst the capital of pension funds was considerable. Fortunately, Ahold Delhaize Pension has never had to cut the pension, however it has also not been possible to index for quite some time. That is because the financial rules are very strict.’

Will different rules soon apply?
‘Yes, it will really be different. At the moment, pension funds need to keep large buffers. That is laid down in the law. We cannot use the money from those buffers to index. In the new pension system, those buffers will mostly be abandoned. This means that your pension can be increased earlier, but it can also go down. Soon your pension will fluctuate more with the economy.’ 

Will the state pension also be different?
‘Anyone who reached the state pension age, receives a state pension from the government. Therefore, that will remain the same. The changes only concern the pension that people accrue via their employer, like your pension at Ahold Delhaize Pension.’

What do you personally think about the new pension system?

‘I think it is an improvement. In the new pension system, you can see exactly how much money is available in your personal pension pot. You can see how much contribution you paid, how much contribution Ahold Delhaize paid, and what your return will be. You pension will be much more transparent. That is also better in line with these times.’

Are people already noticing something of the new pension system?
‘No, that will still take a while. But behind the scenes, we are working hard on it. Together, Ahold Delhaize, the Central Works Council, AD Connect, and Ahold Delhaize Pension are examining the best way to switch to the new pension system. We consider all interests in a balanced manner. What is the best for the scheme members, the pensioners, the former scheme members? We will ensure that everyone will switch to the new system in a proper manner.’
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