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There is a great deal of common sense in Martin Wolf’s comments on collective pensions (Opinion, July 26). I worked with the Royal Society of Arts on their project some years ago with David Pitt-Watson. But I think Wolf glosses over the Dutch experience too easily when he writes:
“Provided they were cautious, adjustments, especially downward adjustments, would not happen often. People could have reasonable confidence that the pension they expected would be paid. The experience of the Dutch system supports this expectation: even after the 2008 financial crisis, it reduced pensions by only 2 per cent on average”
What happened in the Netherlands produced a deep social shock. Given the background of strong support from unions, employers and government, the vast majority of people had never envisaged a pension in payment being reduced (in some cases by…