Kene Henkens_BW

Kène Henkens

The Netherlands

The Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

Kène Henkens is a head of the Theme group on Work & Retirement , a acting head of the Theme group on Ageing & Longevity, and is a professor of Ageing, retirement and the Life course at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG-RUG). He also holds a chair in Sociology of Retirement at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).  He received his PhD at Utrecht University (1998). He has published extensively on issues regarding retirement and the aging workforce. His work includes studies on older workers transitions into retirement, employers behaviors in an ageing labor market.  He has received a VIDI grant from the National Science Foundation (NWO) and a VICI grant in 2014. He is associate editor of the new Oxford journal Work, Aging & Retirement. Henkens is member of the Academia Europaea.

(Autumn 2023)

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.


A healthy public debate about important societal challenges requires a common and scientifically sound basis.

Bart Pattyn

Co-Chair LIAS and member Board LIAS Foundation