NETHERLANDS - Workers are willing to pay much higher contributions for a guaranteed pension, a survey by pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has suggested.

The survey revealed that guaranteed benefits seem to be more important than keeping the official retirement age at 65, according to DNB's survey among a panel of 2,000 representative households.

Two out of three employees are prepared to pay an additional 5% of their salary, which means a premium rise from 15% to 20% of their gross salary on average.

That said, workers are less prepared to pay more, in order to prevent an increase of the retirement age, added the regulator.

Currently, the social partners of employees and employers are negotiating new pension contracts, considering criteria such as changes in the degree of certainty and re-attributing risks between the parties.

DNB further concluded that many workers are still too optimistic about their expected pension, and mistakenly believe that their future pension benefits will be between 67% and 80% of their last-earned salary.

On average, the participants in the survey indicated that they would like a pension guarantee of 70%, according to the researchers.

However, they also noted that it was not clear whether the participants in the panel appreciate the difference between nominal and real guarantees.

The DNB survey further suggested that a large majority of workers supported the principle of mandatory pension saving, but would also like more snput into investment decisions in cases where they will bear higher investment risks.