As of 2022, the Dutch pension system will be overhauled. The success of this as well as other pension reforms also depends on how participants react to and accept such changes. We therefore studied participants’ attitudes, beliefs, and emotions toward the new pension system. We composed a text to inform them about the new system and qualitatively analyzed their responses. We investigated which beliefs and attitudes prevail among different age groups. The results show that many participants base their comments on previous experiences, misconceptions and (sometimes false) interpretations of the information in the text. Moreover, we find that young people are more optimistic, whilst older participants tend to feel victimized. Since the new Dutch pension rules have yet to be introduced, the results of our study contain valuable information for policymakers and pension funds who should acknowledge and address the oftentimes intense emotions, beliefs, and attitudes that influence the way that intentionally neutral information is perceived and accepted. A diversified communication strategy, mindful of different beliefs, emotions and attitudes among participants should help to empower citizens to get insight in their financial situation after retirement and to make informed choices.

This publication is part of a several publications from De Economist | Volume 170, issue 1 ( read all here.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is een denktank en kennisnetwerk. Netspar is gericht op een goed geïnformeerd pensioendebat.


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