Employers with insured pension plans: action required for timely adjustment of pension plan to the new pension system

6 February 2024

As part of the new pension system, all pension plans in the Netherlands will have to be converted to a defined contribution plan that fits within the new legal framework. In doing so, proper implementation of the relevant approval process is crucial. In many cases, the consent of the works council is required in addition to approval of the individual employee with the adjusted, new pension plan. All this requires timely action because the October 1, 2026 deadline is closer than many deem.

Adjustments at industry-wide pension funds

For employers covered by a mandated industry-wide pension fund, life is simple. Social partners in their industry handle the adjustment; in practice, the individual employer has little to no involvement.

Adjustments at company pension funds

Employers whose pension plan is executed by a company pension fund will have to make agreements about the new pension plan with the relevant trade union and/or works council.

Adjustments for insured pension plans
Employers with a pension plan with an insurer or PPI are themselves responsible for timely adjustments.

Transition Plan

When designing the new pension plan, what the existing pension plan looks like is important. Employers with a benefit agreement, for example, have different choices to make than employers who currently have a defined contribution plan. In all cases, roughly three choices must be made:

Ambition level: the desired ambition level of the new pension plan.
Compensation: the degree and method of compensation for older workers in particular. Compensation can be in the form of salary or through additional pension.

Transitional right: the use of transitional arrangements that allow the continued application of age-dependent premiums.

The choices made will be included in a transition plan to be completed by Oct. 1, 2026.

Pension advisors play a key role in this design phase. Here, consultation with employees (representatives) is crucial to gain sufficient support to get this employment condition changed in time.

Change of condition of employment

In most circumstances, the approval of the works council and each individual employee is necessary for an actual change of the pension plan (as an employment condition). The personnel representative body or the personnel meeting may have a role in certain situations. The exact situation is different for every employer. It is important to map out the approval procedure and, if required, seek legal advice.


Keep in mind that the deadline for employers with insured pension plans is October 1, 2026. Even though it may appear far off, action is required now to make the necessary adjustments on time. Avoid time pressure and start the design phase today and make sure you have a clear picture ensure that you have a clear understanding of the consent process for changes to pension plans. Do not forget that more than 50,000 insured pension plans in the Netherlands require modification. Pension consultants and pension lawyers will have their hands full.