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Life course arrangement

Country of implementation
The Netherlands
General short description of the innovation
This innovation offered a saving scheme for citizens to combine work, life-long learning and care. The scheme made it possible to temporary stop working, or to save for early retirement
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • education
  • family
  • pension
  • wage
Type of Policy
  • other (private savings scheme, stimulated by tax-reduction)
  • public
Duration of the policy
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: temporary, was meant however as a structural policy
  • Budgets: 400 million each year (estimation)
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: : 2.7 million workers were expected to participate
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
This policy had two objectives: to facilitate the combination of work, care and training, especially during the ?traffic hour? in life, ie. between 30 and 40 years. Secondly, it offered the possibility to privately save for early retirement. The strategy consisted of a fiscally advantageous savings scheme.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
it was meant as a structural facility, but because of the limited results and participation it was abolished in 2012
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • leave schemes (the main output was a savings scheme to facilitate temporarily stop working or to save for early retirement)
Clarification of intended mechanisms, outputs and outcomes (optional)
The scheme allowed to annually save up to 12% of annual gross income up to a maximum of 230% of annual income. These savings could then be used to temporarily stop working or for early retirement. Use of the savings to stop working had to be agreed with the employer. Savings were deducted from taxable income (taxes were to be paid when using the savings). Also, there was a tax credit to support savings. Savings were not considered to be part of financial assets for taxes. The saving schemes were administered by private insurance companies.
Intended target group
The working population
Working age population
  • main source of income: paid work
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • central state (regulation)
  • employers (organised or individual) (at the company level employers had to agree with life course plans)
  • private for-profit organisations (commercial) (the saving schemes were offered by private insurance companies)
  • supra/extra national organisations
Intended output
  • leave schemes
  • wages
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
scheme as mainly been used as early retirement scheme, meaning labour force participation has declined a little bit, although take-up was lowaround 270.000 people had entered the scheme until the end of 2008. No figures are available on the number of people using their savings by stop working
Intended and unintended outcomes
around 270.000 people had entered the scheme until the end of 2008. No figures are available on the number of people using their savings by stop working
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
The innovation has not met with expectations and was ended in 2012. Participation was much lower than expected and selective: mostly higher educated/skilled, older people working for the government and in education participated. Half of the participants planned to use the scheme for early retirement, 10% for care activities. The scheme required several years of saving to be able to actually stop working. Moreover, there was another saving scheme (?spaarloon?) which possibly was more attractive for workers but which could not be combined with the life-course scheme. Young workers could not save fast enough to combine work/care in the short term. Moreover, the evaluation doubts whether young workers are in the position to claim free time when they are investing in their carreer. Van Huizen en Plantenga (2010) who analysed the scheme in the Journal of Social Policy come to the same conclusion, although they do consider the scheme to be innovative.
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