Ageing population pushes up spending on state pensions

23/09/2014 15:00

According to figures published today by Statistics Netherlands, spending on state old-age pensions has risen by nearly a quarter since 2008, to 32.7 billion euros in 2013. The increase in pension spending correlates with the increase in the number of people entitled to a state pension, and is indeed caused by population ageing. The first Dutch baby boomers reached the age of pension entitlement in 2011. By the end of 2013, over 3.2 million people in the Netherlands were receiving a state old-age pension. One in ten of them live outside the Netherlands.

Spending on state pensions and number of pensioners

Spending on state pensions and number of pensioners

 Index-linking also increases spending

Compared with 2012, spending on state old-age pensions rose by 1.3 billion euros in 2013. The amount rose not only as a consequence of population ageing, but also because state pensions are usually indexed twice a year (on 1 January and 1 June).

Slightly smaller percentage of claimants receive a full pension

At the end of 2013, 81 percent of pensioners were entitled to a full pension, slightly less than the 83 percent in 2012. As a result of increasing international migration, more pensioners are entitled to a partial pension.

Rise in entitlement age reduces spending by 0.2 billion  

The age of pension entitlement was raised by one month in 2013, to 65 years and 1 month. If this rise had not been implemented, spending on state old-age pensions would have been some 1.2 billion euros higher. This effect will recur yearly, and will also increase as retirement ages rise further.  In 2014, the retirement age has been raised by another month, to 65 years and 2 months.

More and more pensioners moving abroad

Living abroad has become more and more popular among pensioners in recent years. At the end of 2013, more than 320 thousand Dutch pensioners were living outside the Netherlands. Five years previously this was just over 260 thousand. This is an increase of slightly over 22 percent, while the number of pensioners rose by just under 18 percent. In the ten countries outside the Netherlands most favoured by Dutch pensioners, the number of Dutch over-65s rose by most in France (+43 percent), Great Britain (+33 percent) and Germany (+26 percent).

According to figures from the SVB, the organisation that implements national insurance schemes in the Netherlands, 31.5 billion euros was paid to pensioners living in the Netherlands and 1.2 billion euros to pensioners living abroad.

Top ten countries of residence of Dutch pensioners outside the Netherlands

Top ten countries of residence of Dutch pensioners outside the Netherlands