People who decide to work less take little or no account of the impact this has on their pension accrual. 69 percent of Dutch people who have recently started working less have not investigated the consequences for their pension: they mainly look at whether they can still make ends meet if they work fewer days. This is evident from a study published on Tuesday at the initiative of the Ministry of Finance, conducted by I&O Research. To this end, the agency surveyed a representative sample of more than 1,500 people.
Lisa Brüggen, professor of financial services at Maastricht University, finds it worrying that the pension is often not included in the decision to work less, she writes in the report. “Suppose that, as a construction worker, you decide at the age of 32 to work one day less per week, this means that you will accrue approximately 27,000 euros less pension. In concrete terms, this means that you have approximately 120 euros net per month (10 percent of the supplementary pension) less to spend upon retirement. At that moment, this can be the difference between being able to make ends meet and not.”
Part-time working is popular in the Netherlands: almost half of the working population (45 percent) works less than 36 hours per week. Because women in particular work part-time — 67 percent, compared to 28 percent of men — they are extra vulnerable, says Brüggen. According to her, research shows that many women are not financially independent and that they do not know what their financial and pension situation looks like. “That does worry me. Because this means they build up much less pension than men. In the European Union, the Netherlands has the largest pension gap between men and women after Cyprus, more than 40 percent.”