Companies Allowed to Change Pension Conditions Post-retirement
THE HAGUE, 13/11/13 - Pension conditions can still be changed if people are already drawing their pensions, it emerges from a ruling by the Supreme Court.
The case turns on the pensions of the employees of insurer Delta Lloyd. They had a generous scheme for years, under which the pension was guaranteed to go up with inflation. In 2011, the insurer halted this construction, including for those who were already pensioners.
The pensioners went to court. An appeal court in Amsterdam ruled in 2012 that the change was not against the law. The highest court has now confirmed the opinion of that verdict.
Lawyer Irene Vermeeren of Baker & McKenzie says this ruling is a confirmation that pension schemes can still be changed if people have retired from work. In September, the Supreme Court had already made such a ruling in a case between former employees and Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland (ECN).
The ECN case also concerned a restricting of the inflation correction. The sole fact that the employment link was ended does not mean that the pension conditions must remain unchanged, according to the Supreme Court. “Pensioners have become more vulnerable as a result,” says Vermeeren.