The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) states that a staff member’s employment will cease from the day that the staff member reaches retirement age. Continuing to work after reaching retirement age is a possibility, but not a right.
At Radboud University, staff members are only offered the opportunity to continue to work after they reach retirement age if there is a demonstrable benefit to Radboud University as an organisation. In that case, a temporary contract (employment contract or contract for services) can be concluded. A demonstrable benefit to the organisation can be defined by labour market arguments, or by the extraordinary qualities of the pensionable person which are of great value to Radboud University at that point. Concluding a temporary contract with a pensionable person solely on the basis of a demonstrable benefit to the organisation justifies why person A may continue to work after reaching retirement age and person B may not. Professors emeriti occupy a special position here because they retain their right to supervise PhD candidates for five years.
A professor emeritus retains the right to supervise PhD candidates for five years under the Dutch Higher Education and Research Act (WHW). This is a major reason why many professors emeriti work for the university even after they reach retirement age. This work relates in particular to mentoring PhD candidates, but it can also include advice or coaching. In most cases, they can make use of a few university facilities such as a room and a telephone. In this type of scenario, there is no need to make further arrangements in the form of a contract.
In certain situations, the professor emeritus will carry out work that goes beyond the aforementioned mentoring, advice or coaching. For example, this may include the provision of lectures or work groups that are important to the curriculum of the study programme concerned and which cannot (yet) be provided in any other way at that time. If a professor emeritus desires another appointment as a professor, the dean will submit a reasoned request to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will decide whether or not to conclude such a contract, taking into account the benefit to the organisation as a criterion. What type of contract should be concluded, i.e. an employment contract or a contract for services, will depend on the actual facts and circumstances. If a professor emeritus is given another appointment, e.g. as a lecturer, the dean will decide.
Choice of contract
What type of contract should be concluded with a pensionable person depends on the actual facts and circumstances. The policy stems from the question of whether a salary is involved.
Employment contract (with salary)
In the case of paid work, an employment contract is agreed in principle. An employment contract can only be agreed if there is a demonstrable benefit to the organisation. The dean or the cluster director is responsible for assessing the benefit to the organisation and concludes contracts with people who are not professors. In the case of professors, the Executive Board assesses the benefit to the organisation and concludes the contract.
Contract for services (without salary)
A contract for services is used where there is no salary. Expenses may be reimbursed on the basis of a declaration of costs incurred, where appropriate. A contract for services may be concluded with a pensionable person if that person wishes to remain affiliated with Radboud University and to use certain university facilities (e.g. workspace, computer, telephone). A contract for services can only be concluded if there is a demonstrable benefit to the organisation. The dean or the director of Radboud Services is responsible for assessing the benefit to the organisation and concludes contracts with people who are not professors. In the case of work as a professor, the Executive Board assesses the benefit to the organisation and concludes the contract. As mentioned above, this is only the situation with professors if it involves work that goes beyond what is already common practice for professors emeriti (e.g. mentoring PhD candidates).
Duration of contract and procedure
Employment contracts and contracts for services are each time concluded for a period of one year.
The dean or the cluster director concludes the contracts with people who are not professors and is responsible for assessing the benefit to the organisation. A contract for services or an employment contract to be concluded with a pensionable person can be submitted to the HR Department for assessment. Advice can be obtained from the HR Department for any type of contract.
Laws and regulations relevant to employment contracts upon and after retirement age
Concluding a new employment contract with a pensionable person
The landscape changed when the Work and Security Act (Wwz) came into force, allowing temporary employment contracts that end by operation of law to be concluded with pensionable persons at the end of their open-ended employment. It is no longer necessary for such contracts to be terminated through the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) or sub-district court.
Quantity and duration of temporary employment contracts
A modified chain rule applies for pensionable persons: a maximum of six temporary employment contracts within 48 months at most. The chain only includes temporary employment contracts concluded after reaching retirement age.
Employment contracts with a pensionable person have a notice period of one month. At the end of an employment relationship with a pensionable person, there is no need to pay any transitional severance pay, regardless of the length of service. What is more, the employer does not have to comply with a request to extend the working hours of a pensionable staff member.
Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU)
The CAO NU applies in full to pensionable persons. Provisions relating to service anniversaries and the like continue to apply.
Payroll taxes and social security
Pensionable persons benefit from a lower rate for the withholding of payroll taxes.
This is due to the fact that the staff member is no longer liable for a state pension contribution. However, the staff member still has to pay social security contributions under the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act (AWBZ) and the Surviving Dependants Act (ANW).
The obligation to subscribe to employee insurance policies stops on reaching retirement age. There is then no obligation to pay contributions, but also no entitlement to benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act (WW), Work and Income according to Labour Capacity Act (WIA) or Sickness Benefits Act (ZW). The staff member is also not eligible for a benefit under the Non-statutory Unemployment Regulations for Dutch Universities (BWNU) or an occupational disability pension (AOP).
Illness and occupational disability
The Working Beyond Retirement Age Act (Wet doorwerken na AOW-gerechtigde leeftijd) gives pensionable persons the right to continue to be paid if they fall ill for a period of 13 weeks. During their temporary employment, staff members are eligible for the regular non-statutory salary continuation arrangement in accordance with the Sickness and Disability Scheme for Dutch Universities (ZANU).
If a new employment contract is concluded with a staff member after reaching retirement age, the staff member will cease to be a member of ABP. The staff member can opt for voluntary pension accrual with ABP, but the costs (which are quite high) will be borne entirely by the staff member.