NETHERLANDS – The Dutch are the most satisfied people in the world with their present and future pensions, a survey by insurer AXA has revealed.

Among the 9,300 interviewed people in 15 major industrialized countries, the Dutch are the most resistant to raising the national retirement age, which is 65 at the moment. The preferred pension age of workers in the Netherlands is 59, but they expect to be active until they are63, AXA said. German citizens have a similar opinion.

More than 70% of the Dutch respondents rate their pensions at least ‘sufficient’. Fifty-seven percent don’t expect a change of living standards after retirement. The second most happy in Europe about their future pensions are the Germans, with 64%. UK citizens scored 59%.

The Dutch are hardly worried about their financial perspectives after retirement. Their average net monthly pensions payment is €1,734, which is the highest in Europe. Pensioners in the Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain have on average €1,644, €1,622, €1,529, €877 and €751 respectively.

German citizens are the best informed about the amount of their pensions, AXA found. At least 34% did know the amount of their future monthly payments. The corresponding figures for the Netherlands, the UK and Spain are 27%, 17% and 11%.

The British, the Germans and the Dutch are starting preparations for their pensions the earliest, the report said. They usually start saving in their early thirties. By comparison: workers in France and Italy start saving at 37 and 51 respectively.

Dutch workers are the least likely in Europe to save for their pensions via life insurance. By far their most popular way of saving is insurance with the employer, the survey said.

Within the euro-zone the Germans are saving the most, with €241 a month on average. Citizens of Spain and France are saving €208 and €203 respectively. The Dutch set €199 aside every month, the Italians €160, according to the AXA survey.

Another outcome of AXA Group’s survey is that citizens of most European countries – especially Italy – are expecting a pensions review within the next years. The only exception is Germany.