Manual workers can’t keep working to state pension age: doctors


Company doctors are warning that many people doing manual work will be unable to stay on the job as the state pension age increases.

Physical labour is too heavy for many after a certain age and the fact many people live unhealthy lives is an added problem, the company doctor association NVAB says in Tuesday’s AD.

‘There comes a point when cartilage has had it,’ NVAB director Ernst Jurgens told the paper.

The Dutch labour market is not ready to put up the pension age still further, he said, adding that low-skilled manual labourers do such heavy work that at a certain point, their bodies give up.

Companies should be doing more to relieve the physical pressure on older workers and workers themselves should do more to keep healthy and prepare for later retirement, Jurgens said.

Pension age

The retirement age goes up to 65 years and nine months this year, and will continue increasing steadily to 67.

A spokesman for junior social affairs minister Jette Klijnsma said the increase in the state pension age is essential to keep pensions affordable.

‘People should think well in advance about what they can do,’ the spokesman said. ‘They have to take responsibility. They could retire early although this is not an option for everyone. That is why employers should also invest in training and retraining so that older workers can do other jobs.’

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation