Pietro Milan from Drachten is 67 years old and receiving a pension. But he has just registered at Uitzendbureau Rvaring and hopes to quickly find a job two or three days a week. Because “to be able to live a little quietly again” he needs at least an additional 500 euros per month.
“I recently lost weight because I have to save on groceries,” he says. “I am Italian and used to eat pasta or tomatoes with mozzarella as an appetizer. But this year it is no longer possible. Everything costs gold money.”
Milan came to Holland in 1974 and worked as a chef. His pension is now 260 euros per month. Combined with AOW, this net amount is around 1,000 euros. He says it’s a big difference with the 3,000 euros he got earlier. “You work like a horse in the food industry, but the pension is crying.” He is still trying to release his wife’s heirs pension. “We need him now, not until I am not with him. But of course that didn’t work out.”
Milan is not the only retiree who has decided to return to work. For many, it is impossible to keep up with the stark inflation in the Netherlands, even after the Cabinet’s decision to increase state pensions by 10%. Many pension funds are also ramping up their benefits, but that’s nothing compared to the amortization of funds, which was 14.5 percent in September.
What can you still do as a retiree? Save on groceries, yes, or spend the winter in Benidorm to cut back on the heating. or work. Additional earnings after the state retirement age do not have any consequences for the amount of the state old-age pension or supplementary pension. Also, someone of state retirement age has to pay a lower tax rate on the first tax bracket, because the AOW premium is no longer required to be paid.
Read also: Continuing to work after retirement is becoming increasingly common. “I go to work whistling every morning”
According to the Netherlands statistics, the number of working elderly people is increasing. Since 2003, the number of employed people over the age of 65 has increased from 75,000 to 300,000 in 2020. Today, more than 10 percent of people aged 67 to 70 work.
Of the approximately 800,000 people between the ages of 66 and 70 considered by the Census Bureau to be part of the workforce, 122,000 are in wage employment.
Jack Wibinga, 77, owner of the Amsterdam employment agency Actief65+, received a record number of new applications from job seekers this year. It’s usually about 5,000 a year, and it’s already 10,000. “Our clients don’t count on the big clock that has become more financially difficult. But no matter how good your pension is, anyone who stops working will lose hundreds of euros.”
It’s not just money that drives retirees back into the job market. According to professor of retirement sociology Kène Henkens, most people over the age of 67 return to work because they enjoy it. This applies to all levels of education, according to research by the Dutch Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute in Groningen, to which Henkens belongs. He says people also keep fit longer, which makes it possible to work out for longer.
But finances are an important incentive. After satisfaction, money is the most common reason people return to work in old age. Motives such as boredom or the need for social contact only follow afterwards. “Now that inflation has only increased over the past 10 years, fiscal stimulus will play an increasing role in the decision to make a fresh start in the labor market as a retiree,” says Henkins.
Menno Meijer also expects this from Rvaring, a recruitment agency that focuses on older employees – “over 40 and over 65”. Clearly, the latter group has had the upper hand lately, he says. “And after the winter I’ll probably be busier,” says Major. “Because when the gas bill falls on the doormat, the financial hit really comes.”
Whatever their motives, for Meijer, the job market must give way to people over the age of 67. And according to him, they are the best employees you can imagine. “They no longer have to work in a profession, not cancel appointments at the last minute, arrange their schedule among themselves, and usually don’t drive trucks downhill.”
Former chef Milan hopes his future boss will feel the same way. “I like to do all kinds of things: warehouse work, shelving stocking, car polishing, driving. Everything. As long as I don’t have to go back to the hospitality industry.”
Maya Schroeder (67), Amsterdam I want to be able to keep my car
I gave myself a year’s pension, but had to go back to work this year. Life has become expensive, especially this year I started noticing it. I want to be able to keep my car and am very concerned about gas prices. This is getting out of hand now I’m just saving myself, but it’s definitely not a fat pot.
„For 35 years I have worked as a fashion designer, the last 22 of which I have worked as a freelancer. I saved for my “old age”, but due to unpleasant circumstances and the last two years of corona I no longer had any reserves. This makes you vulnerable. That’s why I have to get back to work now to build a buffer zone. Fortunately, I am blessed with good health and a huge dose of optimism, so I can definitely keep going.
“Through an employment agency, I am now a hostess at a public education institution in Amstel. I pick up the phone and make it convenient for everyone. At the moment I work there one day a week for 11 euros an hour. I prefer to work three days.
“The few hundred euros I earn a month from this amount are very welcome. In addition, I love to work. I can work hard, but I don’t want a stressful job anymore. In the theater I worked eighty hours a week. Now I also want to be able to Enjoy a bit. It’s time at my age.”
Hans (74, nickname known to editors), Horn “The money has to come from somewhere.”
I started working as a ship carpenter when I was fifteen, then became a carpenter in construction and then an employee of a detention facility in the district. Then I retired. And then, okay. What’s Next?
“I really enjoyed my retirement. I went on vacation, and did some weird chores around the house and with my friends. But then it starts to itch. On top of that, life gets more expensive. My wife and I go camping twice a year. Definitely not an expensive camping site.” , you know, but the money has to come from somewhere.With a small state pension and a small pension, this is becoming increasingly difficult.
“That’s why I started working again this year. Via Klusheeren, an ingenious company for retired employees, I ended up on the technical service in a hotel in Amsterdam. For four full days a week.
“It’s fun work, but the days are very long. Traveling back and forth in particular has become a thing at my age. I’d like to work and earn some extra money, but it should still be fun. That’s why I go back to three days a week now.”
“Thanks to the income – I earn 15 euros an hour – I have money left for my hobby: a Japanese koi. A new koi costs 75 euros easily. My wife and I can go to camp again.
“She also loves the fact that I’m out of the house every now and then. A guy who does nothing at home is no fun for anyone.”
Peter Neumann (69), Herhogovard “I wanted to be among the people again”
I couldn’t really enjoy my retirement. At 66 years and three months old, I stopped working as a service technician at Canon. A month later I had a stroke which caused my arms and legs to fall off. After I recovered from this, the Corona problem started.
“Because of those years spent at home, I began to miss social contacts. I wanted to be among people again. The fact that life is so expensive now gave me the last boost. I notice it every day.”
“Now I earn about 500 a month from wine delivery. It’s a very exciting business. Just try to get to Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam in time by car.
“I work only one or two days a week, so I still have enough time to go to all the stores to get the best deals. For example, on Sundays I always go to Vomar, where orange juice is 1 euro cheaper. Then I get Immediately enough bottles throughout the week.
“My wife works six hours a week at the snack bar. The extra money gives us more air. Now we can buy a new phone again, or go away together for the weekend.”