As the works council, you represent the interests of the employees. And these interests include a good pension scheme. If the trade unions were not involved in the pension scheme consultations, the works council has the explicit right to endorse decisions, based on Article 27 of the Works Councils Act. Simmer supports works councils in case of changes in the pension scheme.
We think it is important that the works council is involved from the start of the change process. This way, the works council can provide input into discussions about the objectives of the pension scheme and possible alternatives. We support the works council in their assessment of an endorsement proposal for pension scheme changes.
Being able to decide on the pension scheme requires knowledge about pensions. Simmer makes sure that you as works council members understand the necessary aspects of your pension scheme. Simmer has a foundation course ready to provide the members of the works council with insight into the various aspects of the pension scheme and developments in the pension market. Simmer can also facilitate an in-company pension course for the works council.
To be able to make a good decision on the pension scheme, it is desirable to know what aspects of the pension scheme are important to employees. Simmer can conduct a questionnaire in which employees indicate their preferences without the need to know all the details of the pension scheme.
To evaluate the possible alternatives, it is first important to know the qualitative differences. But Simmer has also developed a model for making quantitative comparisons between pension schemes. By displaying the alternative pension scheme as a percentage of the salary, the impact of a change becomes clear. And if applicable, compensation measures can be proposed.
The right to endorse decisions does not only apply to the pension scheme as a term of employment, but also to the pension administration contract (the contract the employer enters into with the pension administrator). This may be a pension insurer, a general pension fund or a defined contribution fund (PPI). Especially in case of a defined contribution scheme it is important that the works council studies the conditions thoroughly. The fact is that the terms of the pension administration contract affect (the height of) the pension scheme.