Netspar Thesis Awards granted: Excellent contributions to the Netspar Research Program

Netspar congratulates the winners of the Netspar thesis awards 2019: Wouter Otten (UT), Rory McGee (University College London) en het team van Renate Bredenoort (BeFrank) en Wendela Landstra (DNB). The prizes of € 3.000 each were awarded during the annual International Pension Workshop to outstanding master, phd and Tias theses within the Netspar research program.

Wouter Otten won the prize for the best Master’s thesis for his research into the effectiveness of communicating uncertainty and ‘bad weather scenarios’ for pension participants in the final phase before retirement. “It is special to be part of a larger whole and to be able to provide proof in collaboration with experts from the field that communicating scenarios contributes to better choices”. Read the paper: Communicating In Scenarios: Towards Improving Participant Decisions Regarding Retirement

The award for best PhD thesis went to Rory McGee (University College London) for his technically impressive research into the saving behavior of the elderly. An incredibly relevant, but difficult to unravel subject, according to the jury. Read the paper: Essays on Saving and Intergenerational Transfers over the Life-Cycle

The prize for best TIAS thesis (executive education) went to the duo Renate Bredenoort (BeFrank) and Wendela Landstra (DNB). They wrote a high-quality and very accessible paper on offering new choice options, combining insights about choice architecture and behavioral sciences with new knowledge about the extent to which participants are willing to share data. “Inspiring and extra challenging because field research is not easy in times of corona”. Read the paper: PensioenuitvoerdersHoe gaan jullie data en keuzearchitectuur inzetten om pensioendeelnemers te helpen een passende pensioenkeuze te maken? (Dutch only)

About the thesis awards
Every year during the International Pension Workshop, Netspar presents three thesis awards for excellent theses in the categories Master, PhD and Tias
All theses were assessed by the jury – headed by Editorial Board chairman Fieke van der Lecq (VU Amsterdam) – on academic quality, relevance to the Netspar research agenda, originality and execution of the research and the accessibility and presentation of the paper.

The bar was set high this year, all nominated theses were of excellent quality. We therefore thank all nominees for their entry and congratulate them on the end result. We also thank the jury for their expert assessment.



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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