Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Netherlands: OECD Report Calls for Greater Efforts Encouraging More People To Work Later in Life

The Netherlands must encourage more people to work later in life in order to help it meet its growing challenges of a rapidly aging population and rising social spending, according to the OECD. In its report "Ageing and Employment Policies: Netherlands 2014: Working Better with Age," the OECD says that while reforms over the past decade, such as raising the pension age, have already had an impact—so that the share of 55-64 year olds in work has increased significantly to just over 60% in 2013 (above the OECD average of 55%)—the Netherlands remains well behind the best OECD achievers, ranking only 16th for the employment rate of 55-64 year olds among the 34 OECD countries.

Among its recommendations, the OECD says the Netherlands should:
  • promote longer contribution periods in second-pillar pension schemes and increase flexibility in withdrawal and combinations of pension and work to encourage longer careers;
  • reduce the maximum duration of unemployment insurance benefits combined with better activation of all unemployment benefit recipients;
  • keep replacement rates (the ratio of benefits to former earnings) of sickness and disability benefit well below 100%, and give access to wage-compensation already in the sickness benefit period for re-entry to new jobs with a lower wage;
  • ensure that new practices among innovative firms in the Sustainable Employability program are promoted and progressively become national standards;
  • mobilize more fully labor resources by supporting initiatives to facilitate working on a full-time basis for part-time workers.
Source: OECD News Release (April 16, 2014)

Update: Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment of the Netherlands Press Release (April 16, 2014)

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