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30 December 2009
The concept of excluding people with 'heavy duty jobs' from the government's decision to extend the age for receiving the State Pension (AOW) from 65 to 67 by 2025 continues to cause controversy in The Netherlands.
Following public and political pressure the Social Affairs Minister has agreed to continue to allow people with 'heavy duty jobs' to retire at 65 and has asked the unions and employers to make a list of such jobs.
However, a new proposal to classify 'heavy duty jobs' by gross annual income of the individual concerned has been positively received by trade unions and employers but the main coalition partners (Christian Democrats and Labour) have dismissed the idea, the Telegraaf reports.
Jan Berghuis of the FNV Union told Dutch Radio 1 "heavy duty jobs and low income... it comes to more or less the same."
The current suggestion is to set the threshold at 35,000 Euro but there is concern that other people on low incomes such as administrative staff do not fall into the category of heavy duty workers, which therefore makes the salary-based proposal unworkable.