Cabinet reforms are affecting millions but we don’t realise it yet: ING

Dutch government reforms to the pensions and healthcare systems will increase the financial risks for richer people, according to an analysis of the changes by ING economists.

The reforms will reduce the financial risks facing people with low incomes but will involve them spending more time working because of the later retirement age and taking care of elderly family members, ING says in a new report.

The increase in the state pension age and limits to mortgage tax relief will generate considerable income for the treasury, the report states. However, because the changes are being made gradually, the impact on people’s lives will also be felt gradually, the economists say.


‘People hardly realise how major the reforms are,’ chief economist Marieke Blom told current affairs show Nieuwsuur. ‘We are in the middle of gigantic renovations. The government is leaving more and more up to the ordinary citizen. This has enormous consequences for society and the economy.’

The economists looked at the impact of the four biggest changes. They say that in 10 years time, some two million households will be paying an average of €600 more a month for their mortgages because tax relief is being phased out.

Some 50,000 people will see the golden handshakes they were expecting slashed by €50,000 because of redundancy reforms entitling them to less money.


Hundreds of thousands of elderly people will not be entitled to residential care – saving the government €24,000 per person. Some 700,000 volunteers will be needed to work six hours a week to fill the gaps.

The increase in the state pension age will affect 536,000 people who cannot retire at 65, costing them an average of €12,000 a year, the ING economists say.

Nevertheless, the net impact of the measures will be good for the economy, they argue.

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