Slower rise in life expectancy prompts calls to rethink later retirement age

The government is coming under pressure to revise its schedule to raise the state pension age amid evidence that life expectancy is increasing more slowly than anticipated.

The pension age is currently increasing by four months a year and is due to reach 67 by 2021, under plans brought in by the last cabinet. The move was designed to ensure pensions remain affordable as life expectancy and the number of retirement years increases.

After 2021 the pension age will be calculated annually based on projected life expectancy, though it will never decrease.

However, actuarial research published in the Financieel Dagblad indicates that the average life expectancy may be close to its peak and the increase to 67 could be postponed until 2026 without affecting the economy.

‘The idea is that raising the state pension age (AOW-leeftijd) should compensate for the increase in life expectancy,’ said actuary Daan Kleinloog. ‘If the aim is to ensure that all generations receive their state pension for the same number of years, then it is currently moving too fast.’

The research comes as employers and trade unions are negotiating a new pension settlement. A leaked draft published in Dutch media last week indicated that the two sides both wanted to postpone the later retirement age until after 2025.


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