NETHERLANDS - Dutch employees are more willing to take investment risks with their pension if they have a better insight into the effect their choice will have on their future pension, suggests a study commissioned by the Association of Industry-wide Pensions Funds (VB).

Commissioned researchers at Bureau Motivaction asked 500 respondents how important the level of contribution and benefits are, as well as their desired retirement age and their willingness to take risks with investments, and found certainty was initially more important than costs and the pension level.

That said, the respondents' opinions significantly changed after the researchers showed the effects their choices could have, through the aid of a software tool that showed varying combinations of contribution level, investment risk as well as retirement age.

The percentage of risk-averse respondents suddenly decreased from 73% to 39%, the researchers noted.

They found that, after showing the effects a risk-aversion for the future pension benefits, the number of workers who planned to take early retirement dropped from 37% to 17%, and the numbers who want to carry on working until the official retirement age of 65 rose from 21% to 44%.

"If it is about choices for pension policy, people appear not to be impeded by knowledge but hampered by emotion," said Irene Zondervan, researcher at Motivaction.

The study also indicated that younger workers and women have a stronger preference for saving, whereas male workers relatively prefer investing. Older workers, in particular, like to be involved in investment policy.

The researchers also found 75% of the respondents believe a pension fund is better at accruing a pension income than they are able to themselves.

According to VB, earlier research suggested only a small number of participants know that investing, despite some market crashes, has generated 65% more returns than saving during the past 25 years.

The module for simulating pension policy - - has been developed by VB and was built by Ortec Finance.