"Energy is in transition, but pensions are in transition as well" says Marije Verbeek, former Shell employee and former member of the accountability body of SNPS. "Together they pose a nice challenge for yourself and others, because it is vital to be involved in the future."
"In my job, I find it essential to take on other tasks in addition to my regular financial responsibilities. For my professional development, but also to contribute something extra to the organisation. Therefore, when I was asked to join the accountability body of SNPS in 2013, I did not doubt for a second. And I stayed there for eight years.
As a member of the accountability body of SSPF, I supervised the management of the pension fund. I regularly sat in on policy-making meetings with the board. Pensions are constantly changing, and every single change has a direct impact on the employees. That's why I considered this a very important role; you are doing this on behalf of a great many people and their future.
"I have already learned what retirement will mean for me, at least in general terms. How am I going to spend it? No idea yet"
I realise that for many people retirement is a barrier, it is a complex subject. Nevertheless, I would like to advise everyone to just have a look at their own situation. By now we have so thoroughly worked on it that things have become very clear. You don't have to act on it right away, but at least it will give you some insight. Because if you want to organise your future properly, you have to take some action now.
Through my involvement in the accountability body, I also made a start with looking into my own situation, whether my own finances are up to par. This has given me a good understanding of what retirement means for me. How am I going to spend it? No idea yet. When I left Shell in 2021, I also decided to take a one-year sabbatical, but after three months I was back at work. Life is what happens while you are making other plans. That can be a good thing, or maybe because something happens to you that forces you to adapt.
I haven't figured it out yet. It also depends on how physically fit I am by then. What I do know is that money is not the most crucial thing when it comes to retirement. However, it is the basic requirement to be able to do the things you would like to do."