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The conservative-liberal party VVD wants to improve pension schemes for independent contractors (known as ZZP’ers in the Netherlands), it has emerged yesterday. The party has proposed that ZZP’ers should be able to be part of a collective pension scheme to build up a pension at lower costs and has now urgently called for legislative changes over the summer.
The VVD is the largest political party in the coalition government with just over 20% of the vote in the last election.
MP for the party, Helma Lodders, said ZZP’ers are a “rapidly growing group of entrepreneurs, of whom half [receive] no pension in practice. We want to change this.” She said the Government should enable them to save collectively for pensions as organisations who represent this group of employees have called for action.
At the moment ZZP’ers can only use individual retirement schemes through insurance or bank savings. The party advocates that a collective scheme would reduce costs for the self-employed people and give them more influence over their retirement plans.
"ZZP’ers can then freely choose a collective regulation through an insurer or [similar]”, Ms Lodders said.
Current laws would have to be adjusted to allow for a collective pension scheme for ZZP’ers and the Minister of Social Affairs, Henk Kamp, is expected to provide a statement on this before the summer.
ZZP’ers, or independent contractors, determine their own terms of employment, such as hourly rates, and are also responsible for paying their own social security contributions and taxes. Currently, they cannot take part in collective insurances and instead have to use private insurance schemes.
There are almost one million ZZP’ers and in 2010 they represented just under 10% of the total Dutch workforce, according to data provided by the national statistics office (CBS). They have rapidly grown at a rate of 5.3% every year since 2004 due to the Flexibility and Security Act that aimed to foster more entrepreneurship in the country.