Netspar Brief 16: Working Beyond Retirement Age: What Do Employers, Employees, and Independent Contractors Think?

The impact of raising the state retirement age is felt by employers, older employees and self-employed people in the Netherlands. The first two groups are mainly concerned. Employers are most concerned about the limited employability of employees with health problems. Approximately 40 percent of the older employees share these concerns. They worry about being able to continue working until they reach retirement. Many older workers would prefer to retire at a much younger age than what is allowed under the current policy. The gap between the average desired age of retirement (63.4) and the expected age of retirement (65.7) is considerable: 2.3 years. In the construction industry, that gap is even higher (2.8 years). Independent contractors show a greater eagerness than employees under contract to continue working until a ripe old age. While their more limited pension savings presumably have something to do with this, work characteristics such as greater flexibility appear to also play a substantial role.

Sustainable employability policy

The concerns that employers have about working longer seems to translate into action. Unlike 10 years ago, the majority of employers actively invest in HR methods for sustainable employability. In particular retraining and additional training for older employees is regularly used, but also informal measures such as information and awareness.

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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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