Generationally-aware policy

Despite the ageing of the population the Dutch welfare state can remain sustainable in the future, but that will depend on pursuing a ‘generationally-aware’ policy that consistently takes account of the effects of policy decisions on today’s young generation and future generations, the WRR concludes in its report Generationally-aware policy (Report no. 55, 2000).

The relationship between generations

The report contains a broad analysis of relationships between generations. The analysis covers intergenerational transfers such as the collectively financed pension and healthcare systems, but also education, technological developments and trends in the quality of the environment.

Issues of distribution have to be considered not only in the present context, but also with a view to the long term, across current and future generations.

Recommendations for a generationally-aware policy

The WRR makes a number of specific recommendations for a generationally-aware policy. Problems could be avoided by reducing the national debt. The WRR also suggests that wealthy pensioners should in future be asked to pay state pension contributions. Other recommendations are to increase the labour participation rate, particularly among the elderly and women, and to maintain good educational facilities for young people.