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The future of retirement and the pension system: How the public’s expectations vary over time and across socio-economic groups


  • Luc Bissonnette


  • Arthur van Soest



We analyze expectations of the Dutch population ages 25 and older concerning future generosity of state and occupational pensions, the main pillars of the Dutch pension system. We use rotating panel data with monthly observations from 2006 until 2012 on individuals’ subjective expectations concerning changes between now and ten or twenty years from now in the purchasing power of occupational pensions and of old age social security benefits, the eligibility age for old age social security benefits, and the average retirement age ten or twenty years from now. We find significant variation in expectations across socio-economic groups, with more pessimistic expectations amongst higher educated and higher income groups. We also find that expectations have gradually become more pessimistic since the onset of the economic and financial crisis, in line with the plans for reforms that will reduce pension generosity. Copyright Bissonnette and van Soest; licensee Springer. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Luc Bissonnette & Arthur van Soest, 2012. "The future of retirement and the pension system: How the public’s expectations vary over time and across socio-economic groups," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izaels:v:1:y:2012:i:1:p:1-21:10.1186/2193-9012-1-2
    DOI: 10.1186/2193-9012-1-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Barrett, Alan & Mosca, Irene, 2012. "Announcing an Increase in the State Pension Age and the Recession: Which Mattered More for Expected Retirement Ages?," IZA Discussion Papers 6325, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Niu, G., 2014. "Essays on subjective expectations and mortality trends," Other publications TiSEM b9f72836-d8ad-478b-adca-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Luc Bissonnette & Arthur van Soest, 2015. "The Financial Crisis and Consumers' Income and Pension Expectations," Cahiers de recherche 1502, Chaire de recherche Industrielle Alliance sur les enjeux économiques des changements démographiques.

    More about this item


    Subjective probabilities; Old age social security; Occupational pensions; D84; H55; J26;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies


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