Reforming the statutory retirement age Policy preferences of employers

Now that people must continue working until they are older, employers are concerned about the ability of their employees to remain physically and mentally fit. This is particularly true for employers in construction and manufacturing, as cited in this 2017 study. These concerns help explain why only 21% of employers want to see the statutory retirement age rise in conjunction with life expectancy. Policy proposals for making the retirement age flexible or differentiating it for people in physically demanding jobs enjoy the approval of 78% of employers.


Key message for the sector

  • The resistance employers have to a uniform increase in the retirement age derives to a large extent from their concerns about the job proficiency of older workers.
  • Many employers would seem to prefer greater differentiation in the path to retirement given that professions vary so greatly from one another.
  • The Pension Agreement offers opportunities for allowing older workers in physically demanding jobs to stop working sooner.


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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