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Shifting the Pension Mix: Consequences for Dutch and Danish Women


Address for correspondence: Patricia Frericks, Faculty of Social Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80140, NL – 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands. Email:


All European countries are aiming to reform their pension systems in line with two conceptual ideas: firstly, that systems should combine public, occupational and private pensions; secondly, that entitlements should be individualized. The Dutch and the Danish pension systems already consist of these three different pensions with relatively individualized entitlements and in a way form an ideal type of pension system. However, these systems are far from ideal since they are deeply gender biased. The positive effects of citizenship-based state pensions conceal the negative ones. In addition, recent developments in the combination of the pension schemes counteract the positive effects. Given the male-oriented norm when it comes to full pension entitlements, and given the fact that life courses are still gendered, these countries’ systems and developments have negative effects for women.