Number of social security benefits still declining

  • Social security benefits fell by 6 thousand in the third quarter
  • Decline more substantial than in the first two quarters of 2008
  • Short-term benefits further down
  • Most substantial decline among under-35s

In the third quarter of 2008, the number of benefits paid to under-65s dropped further to 262 thousand, i.e. more than 6 thousand down on the second quarter. The most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands show that the decrease in the third quarter was somewhat larger than in the second quarter.

By the end of September 2008, the number of social security benefits had dropped by 17 thousand (close to 6 percent) relative to the end of September 2007. The rate of decline slowed down further in the past year, but in the third quarter of 2008, the rate of decline increased again marginally. The decline was more than 2 percent, as against approximately 1 percent in the first and second quarter of 2008.

For the first time since September 2007, the number of benefits paid out for a period of less than twelve months dropped again. The decline in short-term benefits by 5 percent in the third quarter of 2008 was more considerable than for long-term benefits. Long-term benefits dropped by nearly 2 percent, about the same as in the preceding quarters.

In the third quarter of 2008, the decrease by 5 percent was most significant among under-35s. In that age category, the number of benefits fell by nearly 2 percent. Over the past year, the number of social security benefits paid to under-35s has dropped by nearly 12 percent. NB Among over-35s, the decline was just under 5 percent over the same period.

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