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Ageing and the Public Service

Human Resource Challenges

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Government workforces are ageing even more rapidly than the rest of society. This raises specific challenges and opportunities. An ageing public service increases fiscal burdens while decreasing immediate capacities to deliver services. In the long run, however, it also offers a strategic opportunity to downsize the public sector workforce if necessary and to change employment conditions and the management of government employees where this is deemed reasonable. This book reviews the experience of 9 OECD member countries in this field. It presents some conclusions on strategies that countries could implement in order to adjust their human resource policies to the wider ageing challenge. 

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Ageing and the Public Service in the Netherlands

Although the country-wide demographics appear quite favourable in the Netherlands compared to other OECD member countries, the situation in the public sector is somewhat problematic. The Dutch government has identified three main problems resulting from ageing: i) long-term financing of social security, including healthcare costs and pension liabilities (AOW); ii) management of older public service workers; and iii) anticipated recruitment difficulties and labour market shortages.

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