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Ministers consider merging state job centres and social insurance bank

THE NETHERLANDS. The cabinet is looking into merging the state job centre UVW with the social insurance bank SVB as an efficiency measure, Trouw reports on Monday.

Both bodies pay social benefits, serve a similar section of the population and both have similar working practices, ministers say.

Trouw points out that the merger suggestion is noteworthy because both bodies have come under fire recently for failing to do their jobs properly. In addition, a report by the Panteia Institute said it would not be a good idea to combine them into a single company.

IT failings

‘There is no clear reason why the SVB and UWV should remain independent but given the recent history… a merger is not an obvious option,’ the report states.

Both organisations have run into problems with IT systems, poor complaints procedures and bad management over the past year.

Nevertheless, ministers are determined to investigate the option, Trouw says. They state in a briefing to parliament that research into the pros and cons will take place in 2017 and 2018.

The SVB is currently responsible for paying 3.3 million state pensions plus child benefits, widows and orphans benefits and personal care budgets for people with a handicap. The UWV pays 1.4 million people jobless, incapacity and sickness benefits.


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