The Dutch government’s planned increase to the retirement age – scheduled to rise to 67 by 2021 – could be postponed until 2026, actuaries have argued.

Writing for the magazine of the Netherlands’ Actuarial Society (AG), the authors pointed out that life expectancy had been increasing slower than expected.

Dutch financial newspaper FD quoted Daan Kleinloog, chairman of the AG’s state pension (AOW) working group, as saying that, up to 2022, the retirement age was set to increase faster than life expectancy for 65-year-olds.

As a consequence, pensioners would receive 3% less state pension, he said.

“If the aim is that all generations are to receive AOW benefits over an equal number of years in retirement, the current rise of the AOW age is too fast,” said Kleinloog.

In 2013, the parliament decided to raise the state pension age in several steps to reach 67 in 2021. Further rises would follow life expectancy improvements.

As a result, the retirement age is to increase by another three months in 2022.

Last week, a leaked draft of a pensions agreement suggested that employers and workers wanted the official retirement age of 67 to be postponed to 2025.

The actuaries findings are politically sensitive, as Wouter Koolmees, minister for social affairs, and the government coalition have insisted that a relatively quick increase is necessary to keep the state pension affordable, taking into account population ageing.

The FD reported that the cost of a four-year delay to the retirement age increase was estimated at €1.5bn.

“However, this amount could be less because of the slowing down of life expectancy,” argued Kleinloog.

The actuaries drew their data from recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) about life expectancy for 65-year-olds.