6.1 Solidarity? By choice, not enforced

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    “In the long term, pension funds have to grow to a cover ratio that matches the risks the fund runs. […] The pension funds have given themselves nine years to achieve this (where a maximum term of fifteen years is permitted). Many funds expect to achieve this with re-calculated investment returns, by keeping indexing on the backburner and asking for a surcharge on their premiums.”
    – From a publication of the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) about the Dutch pension funds, July 2009

    In plain language, it says, “You are going to pay more and receive less.”

    The Dutch pension system, supposedly to be one of the best in the world, is slowly but surely going under. In the near future, there simply will not be enough workers to pay the “pensionados.” Also, according to a 2013 Dutch National Bank study called “Cost Efficiency of Pension Funds,“the system and administration costs remain unclear, but are rising steadily.”

    So, if “one of the best systems in the world” is in trouble, what does that mean for the pension funds facing the fast aging populations of the other European countries?

    Let’s cut all the crap and put a stop to this system.

    I keep hearing old directors, politicians, and administrators say that we have to show solidarity. Solidarity? To whom and to what? Enforced solidarity. Keep doing what we’ve been doing for years with hide-one’s-head-in-the-sand-solidarity. How much solidarity are we showing when we are burdening our youth with a dysfunctional pension system? I no longer want to show solidarity towards the mess of the establishment. Why can I not take care of my own retirement as a right-minded citizen ought to? Have we become collectively dumber than all those supervisors and executors with their cushy jobs? Give us the freedom to manage our own pension, and let us decide at which age we want to retire. If I decide to work fewer hours, that is my decision.

    People are more than capable of organizing their own lives. Some work like crazy, while others won’t. Give them some more say in their self-determination. Some will work independently, and some would like to work as employees. Ensure that employers can customize regulations for each department or sector. At this moment, many regulations are uniform. Let people decide for themselves where they want to park their pension funds. The average citizen is more than capable of making tough decisions, as long as they are aware of the fact they are their own decisions.