Casper van Ewijk is emeritus professor in economics of the University of Amsterdam and Tilburg University, currently affiliated with Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement (www.netspar.nl).
Until September 2020 he was director of Netspar. He is an expert in pension economics and public economics. He has been member of several advisory committees for the Dutch government on pensions and pension reform, and also on e.g. social cost benefit analysis and carbon tax. He has published on fiscal policy, public economics and macroeconomics.
As we enter the critical years of an ageing population, it is actually five minutes to midnight to reform the pension system if we want to ensure adequate pensions for current and future generations. The affordability of the pension system as it stands today is under pressure, and it seems as if the population, young and old, is not sufficiently aware of the consequences the status quo might have on their standard of living. There is also strong social resistance to pension reforms that are perceived as unbalanced.
In Belgium, as in other European countries, the debate on financing intergenerational solidarity has been going on for several decades, and a reasonably balanced proposal for pension reform was already drawn up by the Pension Reform Commission, which, however, remained dead letter.
For complex challenges an interdisciplinary synthesis can be more important and more relevant than technical and disciplinary expertise. Global problems require an international synthesis.