Slightly lower Dutch life expectancy to freeze retirement age in 2023

Beach chairs, Eastern Scheldt, Ouwerkerk, Schouwen-duiveland, Zeeland
Beach chairs looking out on the Eastern Scheldt from along the Nieuwendijk in Ouwerkerk, Schouwen-duiveland, Zeeland. July 2018photo: joophoek / DepositPhotos

The life expectancy for people over the age of 65 in the Netherlands is slightly lower than previously predicted. According to Statistics Netherlands' current prediction, 65-year-olds can now expect to live another 20.5 years, instead of the previous prediction of 20.7 years. This will likely mean that the retirement age in the Netherlands will not increase further, RTL Nieuws reports.

The retirement age is determent based on the Statistics Netherlands life expectancy forecast five year in advance. That means that this year's life expectancy forecast is applicable for the retirement age of 2023. 

In 2012 it was agreed that the retirement age will automatically increase as life expectancy rises. But a margin included in the specially developed formula for calculating retirement age, means that it will not decrease now that the life expectancy is lower than the previous year, according to the broadcaster. It will, however, not increase further. Currently this means that the retirement age in 2023 will be 67 years and 3 months.

The agreement on increasing retirement age was made because the current life expectancy is five years higher than in 1956, the year in which the General Age Act was adopted. Over the past years, life expectancy mainly increased, with a few slight decreases. This is due to better medical knowledge and technology, and better hygiene, nutrition and living conditions. In 1950 people in the Netherlands had a 9 percent chance of reaching the age of 90. Now they have a 31 percent chance. 

The slight decrease in life expectancy this year, is due to more people dying than expected in the last four months of 2016 and first eight months of this year. This can partly be attributed to a rough flu season.