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Rethinking the Welfare State

The Political Economy of Pension Reform

Edited by Martin Rein and Winfried Schmähl

In this book a distinguished group of contributors discuss the changing political economy of pension reform. They focus on those countries which have launched a significant reframing of their pension system. Each chapter provides a detailed review of recent pension reforms and offers institutional evidence of the extent to which these reforms suggest a redirection of the welfare state towards a more public-private mix of policies. The countries were selected to represent the variety of new directions which mature industrial countries as well as countries in transition have taken.
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Chapter 5: The Quality of the Dutch Pension System: Will it be Sustainable in the Twenty-first Century?

Leny H. van der Heiden-Aantjes


5. The quality of the Dutch pension system: will it be sustainable in the twenty-first century? Leny H. van der Heiden-Aantjes INTRODUCTION In this chapter I want to give my perspective on the question whether the Dutch pension system should be considered sustainable or not. After a short review of the birth of the system, the development over the last decades of the past century will be described. The question is: does the Dutch system need further reform in the twenty-first century? The chapter begins with a brief outline of the three pillars of the Dutch pension system. Subsequently, recent developments and the developments to be expected in the future will be described. Finally, the question whether the Dutch pension system is sustainable in the twenty-first century is answered. THE SYSTEM The Dutch old age pension system in its broadest sense is a three-pillar system. The first pillar is the AOW: a basic pension under a statutory national insurance scheme, providing an equal pension for all residents at a level related to the net minimum wage level. The second pillar is formed by the occupational non-statutory pension schemes supplementary to the general old age pensions Act (AOW). Occupational pension schemes are part of (collective) labour agreements. They can differ widely from each other, depending on each different agreement. Most prominent within the range of occupational pension schemes are the company pension schemes and the branch pension schemes. Participation in a branch (or industrywide) pension fund...

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