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The pros and cons of a flexible public pension age

The increase of the public pension age in the Netherlands in the past decade has led to public debate about whether this policy reform is fair, especially to low skilled workers in jobs that that physically demanding.  To offer those groups in society the possibility to retire at an earlier age than the official age, the option of a flexible public pension age has been suggested. Such an option will not only allow people to retire earlier than the official date, but also it allows people to work beyond that date. Naturally financing these choices has to be done in an actuarial neutral fashion. To assess the opinions of stakeholders (employers, employees) and the costs and benefits of this policy option NIDI together with the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) will carry out a study financed by Instituut Gak that will cover the behavioral changes to be expected from such a reform as well as scenario study to examine the present and future of an ageing society. Who will make use of such a flexible public pension age, will it extend the working life or only shorten it, and how will workers of different ages, gender or educational group assess the fairness of a flexible pension option? And does a flexible public pension offer any added value to the existing pension system?

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