June 22, 2014

Pension fund for self-employed people finds provider

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:27 pm

coins-branko-collinAbout a month ago we told you about a pension plan for the self-employed.

A new fund called ZZP Pensioen was almost ready for launch except that it had trouble finding a provider. According to financial news site Z24 the largest pension provider of the Netherlands, APG, has now agreed to manage the fund. APG currently manages the pension funds for the government, construction workers and cleaners. Ten percent of all Dutch workers are self-employed.

If you have an irregular income—read, if you are self-employed—paying fixed premiums can be difficult. That is why so many of the growing group of the Dutch self-employed don’t save up for pensions. The premium payments for the new fund are variable, as you just put in what you can afford. The fund is also personal, meaning your contributions don’t pay for other people’s pensions. As a result you will only get paid for as long as there is money in your account.

The advantage of having a pension instead of saving money in a bank account is that the payments count as income, but the amount saved does not count as property. You will only be taxed once you get the money. That is the theory at least, in the past the government has forced ex-entrepreneurs to dip into their pension funds before they could receive state welfare.

ZZP Pensioen starts accepting members in 2015. The fund can also be accessed in case of invalidity, so it doubles as an insurance.

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May 17, 2014

Unions think up pension plan for the self-employed

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:33 pm

contract-branko-collinFour unions are planning to introduce a pension fund that is tailor-made for the self-employed, NRC reported last Thursday.

The fund called ZZP Pensioen allows for a variable contribution, as the self-employed have a variable income, and the money saved can also be used to cover extended sick leave. The initiators are Zelfstandigen Bouw, ZZP Nederland, FNV Zelfstandigen and PZO-ZZP.

According to NRC, only a third of the 750,000 self-employed in the Netherlands are saving for retirement.

The new fund is still looking for a provider. According to Z24, ZZP Nederland has been in talks with insurers but so far, the insurers want to bundle all kinds of unnecessary insurances with the pensions.

Why don’t the self-employed use existing pension plans? They are way too expensive (in Dutch).

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April 7, 2012

Dutch pension system is broken, says Management Team

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 1:27 pm

We Dutch like to pride ourselves in our pension funds.

“The best in the world,” our politicos holler. We may not have the money printing machine the Norwegians have with their oil reserves, but we still have the highest pay-outs in the world, not to mention that the combined funds have 800 billion euros in the bank.

A mere smoke screen, business magazine Management Team warns. It lists 10 myths that the partners of the polder model like to spread, and counters with its own worrisome truths:

  • Seventy percent of the built up reserve will be paid out in the next 20 years.
  • You only get back what you put in if you started paying when you were 20.
  • Expect to receive at best only 35% of your last earned salary if you start paying into a pension fund now.
  • There is 800 billion euro in the bank, but that is a shortage of 240 billion euro.
  • Re-indexed pensions are payed from premium hikes, not from investment yields.

The pension funds claim that ‘on average’ they are healthy, but Management Team points out that they calculate an unexpected average. Instead of looking at the total coverage, they add up the coverage percentages of all the small, healthy funds with those of the huge unhealthy funds.

Oddly enough, our pension reserve could be used under European rules to calculate a lower national debt, but instead the current government prefers not to do that. The Eamelje.net blogger thinks this is so that its constituent partners can keep fear mongering, as fear begets power.

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