Dutch pensioners are living longer but have fewer healthy years

Pensioners on a bench

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The average person aged 65 or older in the Netherlands is living longer but is less healthy over the longer term, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday, citing a new report by Netspar.

The study throws new light on the discussion about the state retirement age which is rising in stages and will reach 67 years and three months by 2022.

While it is common knowledge that people now aged 65 have a longer life expectancy than they did 25 years ago, the number of physically healthy years for both men and women aged between 65 and 75 has declined over the same period, the report said.




The number of years that a person aged over 65 will remain in ‘good health’ fell to 3.3 years from 4.8 years for men and to 2.6 years from four years for women. At the same time, the number of years pensioners will suffer mild health problems has risen from 3.3 years to 5.4 years for men, and from four years to 5.5 years for women.

The increase is due to the fact that people are living longer with chronic conditions such as heart problems, diabetes and cancer, the report said.

The study urges employers to adapt working conditions to take the lower physical abilities of older workers into account. It also suggests that pension funds should be more active in offering part-time pension schemes.