How to share the pain of the pension crisis?

  • Rens Nissen Rens Nissen

This thesis investigates the current crisis among pension funds and concentrates on the one hand on how to recover and on the other hand on what the future of the Dutch pension sector should look like.Concerning the crisis, it investigates whether postponing intervention in the pension rights of participants (i.e. also include negative indexation) leads to a skewed distribution of sharing the pain among generations. The results show that postponing intervention leads at least to a very skewed distribution of the pain after two years. After the current crisis has been solved a new pension systemneeds to be thought of. Such a new contract should be explicitly defined such that participants (and pension fund’s management) know beforehand what to do in times of crisis. This research tries tocontribute to this discussion by introducing (amongst others) an innovative framework of anticyclic supervision. The results of this framework are very good. No drawbacks can be found. The researchconcludes with a critical assessment of the supervision on the pension sector by DNB. Finally this research is a call for the implementation of less risky investment mixes by pension funds. The results show that common investment mixes of pension funds (of about 50% in equity) should be adapted to less risky mixes like 20% in equity.

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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