Return to Polder Model Could Mean Smaller Dutch Plan Sponsors Have Say on Reforms
30 July 2012 (PLANSPONSOREurope.com) – A return to the “polder” model in the Netherlands could pave the way for smaller Dutch plan sponsors to have their say on pension reforms, a Mercer spokesperson has told PLANSPONSOR Europe.
DutchNews.nl reports 10 of the Netherlands' biggest companies, including ABN Amro, Philips, Unilever and Shell, want a return to the polder model of government, a model based on compromise, with everyone involved in any new policy having their say rather than the current policy of pushing through reforms without consultation. The firms have expressed concerns the five-party austerity plan put together after the collapse of the government earlier this year will lead to confrontations between unions, workers and government.
But a Mercer spokesperson in the Netherlands told PLANSPONSOR Europe that such a return to the polder model has implications for smaller plan sponsors where talks on pension reforms are conducted by associations and unions: “The polder model is where you have discussions with all kinds of parties and then they decide and everyone has to give in a little bit.
“Most of the time the discussion on the pension plan takes place between the employers and the employees. Most of the big companies have their own collective labour agreement.
“We have large multi-employer plans in the Netherlands. All people working in healthcare for example have one pension plan.
“It is possible smaller companies could be able to talk directly with unions - smaller companies have pensions in multi-employer plans - it is possible because unions are part of that.”