NETHERLANDS – The Dutch government’s social planning agency, the Social and Cultural Planning Office, says the Scandinavian model of pension reform is “worth copying by others”.

“In the institutional reform scenario it is assumed that countries in the future will implement policy measures that are in line with the welfare state type to which they belong,” the SCP, or Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau, said in report.

“The Scandinavian reform programme turns out to produce the best results. The policy measures taken by Denmark according to this scenario increase the financial sustainability of the system and have limited income effects.”

“The Danish poverty rate actually turns out slightly lower in this scenario than in 2000. The 'Scandinavian model’ would thus seem to be a model that is worth copying by others.

“It will not provide an adequate solution for the ageing problem in all countries, however; in some countries the funding problems are too great for this, while in others there is too little scope for further increases in the activity rate.”

The comments come in a study entitled “Unequal Welfare States. Distributive consequences of population ageing in six European countries”.

The Hague-based office is a government agency which conducts research into the social aspects of all areas of government policy.

The study added that a policy of lowering pensions “would make social security systems more financially sustainable, but would lead to a further rise in poverty and inequality in the EU”.