NETHERLANDS - The Dutch government's recent decision to raise the official retirement age from 65 to 67 in 2023 will reduce the number of pensioners by half a million by 2025, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

The research institute said the government's measure would reduce the increase in the number of pensioners by 50%.

Meanwhile, the Dutch senate has embraced a bill providing for the gradual increase of the age of the state pension (AOW) - starting next year - to 67 in 2023, and linking further increases to the life expectancy of 65 year olds.

The CBS said the increase of the pensionable age would occur quicker under the government's new measure than with the now-abandoned Pensions Agreement - negotiated between the social partners and the cabinet in 2011.

The Pensions Agreement provided for a single-step rise of the pension age to 66 in 2020 and a second single-step increase to 67 in 2025.

"In every year, the number of people in the Netherlands who are entitled to AOW is lower under the new legislation than under the Pensions Agreement," the CBS said, adding that 100,000 fewer pensioners would receive benefits in 2025.

The CBS, however, did not take into account the 10% of workers with an AOW entitlement who are living abroad - and for whom the legislation will also apply.

A spokesman at Statistics Netherlands said: "Because the majority of this group hasn't accrued a full AOW entitlement, and are to receive merely a couple of hundreds of euros a month on average, including them into the figures would cut no ice."