No pensions, no insurance, but freelancers are positive about the future

Most zzp’ers rely on a single contractor. Photo:

They may not have insurance or pensions, but self-employed workers are a happy lot, according to the latest findings from the national statistics office CBS.

A report published on Tuesday found that 80% of self-employed sole traders (zzp’ers) are not covered by incapacity insurance.

A full 70% of them said the insurance was simply too expensive. A further 25%, mostly aged 55 and over, said they could afford to cover the risks themselves, while roughly 20% said they could rely on their partner’s income for a while.

The CBS said just 20% of the 873,000 self-employed in the Netherlands carried incapacity insurance, while about 10% bought an annuity.

Pension shortfall

The CBS said separately that only a quarter of the self-employed have taken measures to secure retirement income, though the proportion for women is one in three.

Most said they could not afford a pension and about 20% said retirement was too far away to consider a pension. A small minority were relying on their partner’s pensions for retirement income.

The CBS said 37% relied on savings or investments, while 33% invested in their own homes. Only 27% were tied to a pension scheme.


Nevertheless the self-employed are more optimistic today about their financial situation than they were two years ago, the Financieele Dagblad reported.

The paper said 47% of 6,000 self-employed workers polled by the CBS were happy with their income and work assurance at the begining of 2017, an increase of four percentage points from 2015.

Nearly 66% of all the self-employed were dependent on a single client for their work orders. Most rely on their own networks to acquire new clients and often help each other to find work, the FD said.

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