Employees prefer pension security

28/05/2014 15:00

When asked, most employees who are saving for a pension via their employer reported that they wanted financial security when they retire. The majority preferred not to make do with less pension, even if this means working to an older age and/or having to paying higher premiums.  A surprisingly large group, on the other hand, do not have any opinion at all about the pension issues addressed in the survey.

Later retirement to maintain pension scheme

On the basis of four pension dilemmas, Statistics Netherlands has conducted a survey among employees  saving for a pension via their employer, to find out their opinions about pension issues. The survey revealed that just over half of employees think it is reasonable that people will have to work to older ages to keep the pension system affordable. The option is often backed up with the argument that people remain healthy to older ages, and live longer. Conversely, one quarter of those interviewed said they thought it would be more logical to reduce pension payments. Many of them think that working to older ages will not be a realistic option for a large groups of people.

Employees’ opinions on pension dilemmas 1 and 2, 2013

Employees’ opinions on pension dilemmas 1 and 2, 2013

Most employees willing to pay more if pension fund is insufficient

If there is not enough money in the pension fund to pay out all the pensions, a relatively small share of people (28 percent) think pensions paid at present should be reduced. The main argument against this option is that people approaching retirement have paid for this pension.  The alternative - higher premiums for employees and employers - was supported by more people: nearly half of those asked.

Majority prefer higher premiums now, and more pension later

If employees were in a position to choose their own pension scheme, just over half say they would rather pay higher premiums now, resulting in a higher pension when they retire. They feel it is important to maintain their standard of living and be able to continue to do the things they enjoy. Just over 30 percent would rather pay a lower premium now and receive less pension when they retire.

Employees’ opinions on pension dilemmas 3 and 4, 2013

Employees’ opinions on pension dilemmas 3 and 4, 2013

Most employees favour low-risk pension fund investment

By far the majority of employees (73 percent) are in favour of low risk investment schemes as far as their pension premiums are concerned, even if this means that their later pension will be lower. They do not want to risk their pension savings. Only 9 percent prefer high-risk investment policies.

Pension issue complicated for many people

For all four pension dilemmas, it was notable that a large share of those asked had no opinion on the matter.  This is probably because employees think the issue is complicated.

Rianne Kloosterman and Hans Schmeets