In the Dutch pension system most regular employees compulsory save for their pension through their employer while self-employed are expected to arrange their own pension. This added freedom in retirement saving options places a burden on the self-employed as they must make difficult financial decisions. Research shows that self-employed, on average, have lower pension savings than regular employees. This thesis investigates a range of possible factors that can cause and influence this difference. A large dataset of the Dutch Central Bank containing both financial as well as psychological information about individuals is tweaked to calculate the expected pension income of individuals. The analysis in this thesis shows that factors such as income and life expectancy do influence pension saving behavior, but these variables do not reduce the differences between being self-employed and regular employed. Interestingly self-employed seem to save worse than their counterparts early in life, but manage to decrease this gap later in life. When reaching the pension age self-employed have an eight-percentage point lower probability of having reached their pension target. The differences are significantly smaller for individuals who consider themselves financially knowledgeable or skilled at sticking to a savings plan.

Additional Metadata
Keywords pension saving behavior, behavioural aspects, financial knowledge
Thesis Advisor T.R. Lambregts
Persistent URL
Series Economics
J. van Lieshout. (2018, December 19). Pension flexibility: blessing or burden. Economics. Retrieved from