2002 OECD Economic Surveys: Netherlands 2002

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This 2002 edition of OECD's periodic review of the Dutch economy examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects and  includes special features on coping with population ageing and on productivity growth and the new economy.

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Coping with Population Ageing

The Netherlands’ population is rapidly ageing, as is occurring in other OECD countries. The number of persons aged 65 and over relative to the working age population is set to double between 2010 and 2030. This will reduce economic growth and increase resource transfers to the elderly, placing pressure on the retirementincome and healthcare insurance systems. The Netherlands is better placed than most other OECD countries to meet these pressures as it has a large, funded occupational pension system. This reduces fiscal pressures from population ageing, although they remain substantial. Pre-funding these budget pressures, enhancing productivity growth, prolonging working lives and containing the increase in transfers to the retired population would reduce the economic costs of this demographic shock. Such reforms would also reduce the exposure of the pension system and, through tax-deductible pension contributions, the budget position to capital market risk. This chapter examines the problem of population ageing in the Netherlands and considers policy options for attenuating the adverse economic effects.

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