Dutch people want to make their own pension arrangements

1 March 2016


More than 40% of Dutch people would prefer to control their pension themselves. They would prefer to choose their own pension provider and manage their savings for later on with a personal pension bank account. This is the finding from a survey of more than 1,000 Dutch people conducted for the online pension provider BeFrank.

Over half of the respondents want to stop working before age 65. Many Dutch people however have no idea how the amount of their pension is determined. The survey reveals that nearly 80% have little or no understanding of this. And more than a quarter answered ‘no idea’ to the question of how much money they would need to survive later on. More than 30% of the respondents said they were worried about the possibility they would not have enough pension.

More and more people have multiple jobs
All these signals point to the fact that pension awareness in the Netherlands is not at a good level. This is becoming even more of a problem now that the labour market is rapidly becoming more flexible. A recent study shows that the number of traditional jobs in the Netherlands is continuing to decline. On average, a person aged 35 will have as many as seven jobs on their CV (source: CBS, Statistics Netherlands), a huge increase compared to 20 years ago. ‘Nearly half of the respondents in our survey have accrued pension with more than one employer. This means it is difficult to maintain an overview,’ says Folkert Pama, director of the online pension provider BeFrank. Then there are those with multiple jobs. ‘These are people holding several jobs at the same time. They may work for employer A for one day a week, then another day for employer B and the rest of the week as a self-employed person. Our survey reveals that 20% of Dutch people have more than one source of income and this percentage will further rise in the coming years,’ says Pama. ‘Many self-employed people are not aware of whether they are actually accruing a pension and how much money they will have saved. We think it is important that people are aware with respect to their pensions.’

Pension bank account
Ton Wilthagen, Labour Market Professor at Tilburg University, says that all these changes in the labour market are setting new demands for our pension system. Pama agrees. ‘Our survey shows that many Dutch people do not take an interest in their pension because they have no influence over it. Making people aware of their pension will only happen if people themselves have some control over it.’ He argues for a radical change: a personal pension bank account for all Dutch people. ‘This would be a bank account that people can control themselves. An employer or client would pay the salary intended for one’s old age. This would be much more suited to today’s situation and give a huge positive boost to pension awareness in the Netherlands.’

About BeFrank
BeFrank has been active in the group pensions market since 2011 and was the first Premium Pension Institution (PPI) to be incorporated in the Netherlands. BeFrank offers a straightforward pension, clear communication, online service provision and low costs. It is part of the Delta Lloyd Group.

About the survey
The survey was carried out by PanelWizard Direct. This is the research panel of Kien Research and has more than 30,000 members aged 16 and over. The panel members have indicated in advance that they are willing to participate in market research. PanelWizard applies the Gold Standard of MOA, the industry-wide recognised approach for research results. More than 1,000 Dutch people participated in this survey.

For more information, contact: Isabelle van Ast. E-mail:, Tel: +31 (0) 20 5621118.