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At the end of the eighties it became clear that the Dutch welfare state could not afford this early exit culture with low participation rates of older people any longer. Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers made a famous speech in 1990 in which he concluded that “The Netherlands are ill”. He considered it a major challenge to make the Dutch economy healthy again. From the beginning of the nineties, the Dutch government developed all kind of policies to bend back the trend of ever earlier retirement and increasing disability rates among older workers. It was not until the middle of the nineties when the Dutch economy started booming for a relatively long period that one could notice the first signs of a break in the development towards lower participation of older workers and lower retirement ages. In the next sections we will describe the developments in senior employment (section 2) and the policy measures that have been taken by the government to push back the early exit culture (section 3). In section 4 we will focus on the discussion to promote extending working lives and raising the retirement age beyond the age of 65. Finally, we will (in section 5) evaluate policy measures and summarise our conclusions.
Original languageUndefined
Place of publicationThe Hague
PublisherNetherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute
Publication date2011
Number of pages20

ID: 67280