Pensions in Transition: New Netspar Program Off the Ground

Netspar has secured funding for a new program term and is launching an ambitious research agenda for 2019-2023 – “Netspar NexT” – with the support of its partners. The new program will highlight three core themes affecting old age, pensions, and retirement in the Netherlands: the transition to a new Pension Agreement, the ongoing development of financial life cycle planning, and forecasts regarding the future of social trends such as longer working lives, the growing number of independent contractors, solidarity, and big data. Approximately 1 million euros will be available annually for new research. The research agenda will also be supported by an extensive knowledge sharing and networking program.

The new Netspar agenda came to fruition through the efforts of twelve partners from the pension industry working with researchers from eleven universities and policymakers. This included incorporating the recommendations from the positive evaluations by the NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research), the Netspar Scientific Council, and Netspar’s partners. Netspar develops and coordinates knowledge, adopts an independent position, and manages, as the NWO evaluation commission put it, to “expressly objectify knowledge and scrutinize assumptions amidst varying opinions.” The program is being funded in part by contributions from the industry partners, the Dutch government, Instituut Gak (a social venture equity fund), and Tilburg University.

Broadly disseminate knowledge
Netspar Director, Casper van Ewijk: “The increased graying of the population, changing institutions, and greater differences between population groups all further complicate the issues surrounding the provision of a financially secure old age. The parties that form our network feel it is important to be part of the effort to resolve these issues. The substantive and financial support from our partners allows us to not only develop socially relevant knowledge, but also broadly disseminate it to ensure that the debate on pensions and retirement is well-informed.”

In executing its Netspar NexT program, the network aspires to bring economic and non-economic research disciplines more closely together. The knowledge generated will be disseminated through easy-to-understand papers, various types of events, and graduate and executive education programs. The Netspar website has a public database that makes all academic and industry papers available.

For more information on the Netspar NexT Research Agenda and 2019-2023 Action Plan click here.

The program is being funded by the Dutch government, Instituut Gak, Tilburg University, industry partners Achmea, AFM (authority for the financial markets), Aegon, APG, a.s.r., DNB (Dutch central bank), Nationale Nederlanden, Ortec Finance, PGGM, Stichting van de Arbeid (labor foundation), and SVB (social insurance bank), and by Cardano.

In addition, Netspar works together with the following academic partners: Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Leiden University, Maastricht University, Radboud University of Nijmegen, University of Groningen, Tilburg University, TU Delft, Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, as well as with the research institutes CPB (bureau for economic policy analysis), NIDI (interdisciplinary demographic institute), and SCP (institute for social research).

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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