Introducing a new pension system: The importance of distributive, procedural and interactional justice

In the coming years, a new pension system will be launched in the Netherlands. The extent to which pension participants will be satisfied with the new system will not only depend on the ultimate benefit they will receive. Satisfaction with the system will also depend on the extent to which (1) the ultimate benefit matches participants’ expectations, (2) participants consider the allocation principles to be just and their application as fair, and (3) the extent to which they feel heard and respected by the pension fund. Effective communication plays a crucial role in generating realistic expectations and explaining the system and its procedure, and is the major determinant of the relation between participants and pension funds. Therefore, this project’s research aim is: to identify challenges posed by the new
system as well as promising communication strategies to overcome these challenges.

Especially in health and judicial contexts, research has been conducted on how communication can establish realistic expectations, explain the fairness of procedures and systems, and influence people’s evaluation of the procedure. This project aims to uncover the insights gathered in these fields through systematic literature reviews. In addition, through iterative design research and interviews with pension specialists and pension participants, it will be established to what extent these insights can be translated and applied in the (Dutch) pension context. This project thus aims to provide evidence-based insights for the development of effective communication strategies for the implementation of the new pension system.


This project is funded and carried out under the auspices of Instituut Gak.

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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