We have been promoting a better understanding of the social and economic impact of pensions, aging, and retirement in the Netherlands since 2005. This last year proved on more than one occasion that the pension debate remains a hot topic: among our partners and in the media and society at large. The draft law for the Future of Pensions Act played a prominent role throughout 2022, especially in new research that resulted in papers, knowledge sessions for Netspar partners (delving into specific topics in-depth), and accessible podcasts in which scientists and professionals engage in conversation. The Future of Pensions Act had a big impact on all of us.

The research we conducted and facilitated this past year covered a wide variety of themes. In 2022, we published 146 papers on such wide-ranging matters as legal issues, sustainablity, communications, and the labor market. In multidisciplinary research, we examine current issues from multiple perspectives.

Partner Network
Last year, we welcomed five new partners: SPH, IBM pension fund, BNP Paribas, BPL Pensioen, and Zwitserleven all joined our network. They each bring with them a wealth of expertise, introducing a new dynamic and fresh vantage points.

Lisa Brüggen
General Director Netspar

Supervisory Board
In the fall, we said goodbye to Wouter Bos as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Annette Mosman and Inge van den Doel took over the honors until a new chairperson could be found. Corien Wortmann-Kool has now been named as the new chairwoman. The Supervisory Board once again enjoyed a highly constructive relationship with the Board of Directors throughout 2022.

In 2022, we introduced a new type of event: the Round Table Conferences. These are knowledge sessions aimed at strengthening the interaction between science and practice with respect to a topical issue raised by our partners. We held four Round Table Conferences this past year: on pension communications, the survivors pension, convergence, and risk attitudes.

Connecting science with practice: therein lies our added value. This is best exemplified by not only the many research projects organized this past year, but the wide variety of gatherings we hosted and participated in. Here is a small sample from 2022:

  • More than 20 online After Lunch Working Group Meetings at which scientists and industry experts have an opportunity to discuss new research.
  • Pension 2025 Symposium. Anyone professionally involved with pensions and retirement savings will eventually have to deal with the Future of Pensions Act. A new Dutch book called Pensioen 2025 has been compiled to provide guidance, with contributions from various disciplines. The symposium was an opportunity to present and discuss the book.
  • Our annual Pensions & Research conference, the theme of which was “Customization and Risk Preferences.” We were honored to be able to hold the conference on the campus of Tilburg University.
  • Our public event called “Boomers, Millennials & Generation Z: Is Everyone Getting a Fair Pension?” This conference consisted of an afternoon full of dialogue between scientists, industry professionals, and members of the general public with representatives of the young and old.
  • In November, Netspar researchers played an active role in the national campaign known as the Pensioen3daagse. In conjunction with the Dutch Money Wise platform, the Federation of Dutch Pension Funds, and the Dutch Association of Insurers, we organized a series of workshops on pension communications and handed out the Pensioenwegwijzer prize at a symposium.
  • The formal presentation of the report “Independent Contractors and Blank and Gray Spots,” which looked into how to improve pension and retirement savings for groups of workers lacking in that area. The report was presented to Tuur Elzinga of the FNV trade union association during a workshop.
  • Once again we organized the ‘Netspar Pension Innovation Program’ in collaboration with TIAS; a cycle of four interactive two-day master classes and a fifth master class in the form of a presentation of the final assignment. Here, 40 employees of partners were inspired by the latest insights and developments in the field of pensions.
  • Netspar offers the subject The Economics and Finance of Pensions within all master’s programs of the TISEM (Tilburg School of Economics & Management) faculty at Tilburg University. In the academic year 2022-2023, 88 students took part.

In addition to the knowledge sessions where we shared our knowledge with our partners and participants, we continued conducting active outreach to a wider audience. We published many industry and academic papers on our website, along with our own one pagers presenting brief summaries of recent research, and launched a number of podcasts in which professional and academic experts discuss current topics. Beyond that, we regularly provided clarification on pension-related topics in the media.

Transition and Beyond…
The new pension system is an important milestone, but it does not end there. Netspar is already looking beyond the transition to the new system. Social and technological trends will have a huge impact on the future of pensions and the pension industry and are crucial for determining our knowledge agenda. Much of 2022 was spent preparing and establishing our new 2023−2027 Action Plan, and we look forward to the new four-year period. In that regard, we are pleased that almost all of our partners continue to be part of our network and thus collectively provide the program’s financial underpinnings.

Board Change

At the end of 2022, General Director Marike Knoef announced that she was leaving Netspar. The Board of Directors, partners, researchers, and staff all thank Marike for the significant role she has played in Netspar and the pension industry as a whole and her engagement in the Dutch pension reform. As the new General Director of Netspar, I would like to thank everyone involved for their outstanding efforts throughout 2022. We continue in this multi-stakeholder institute to connect science and practice. I greatly look forward to leading and inspiring Netspar through the times of transition.

Lisa Brüggen
General Director, Netspar

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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