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Project

Retirement of the solo self-employed

The project "Retirement of the solo self-employed: Rethinking existing theoretical models" aims to improve our understanding of retirement preparation and retirement experiences of Dutch solo self-employed individuals. The project is financed through an NWO Veni grant, awarded to dr. Marleen Damman, and is co-funded by Netspar.

The group of solo self-employed (“ZZP’ers”) on the Dutch labour market is growing and is becoming increasingly diverse. The ‘new’ solo self-employed are highly heterogeneous in their occupational backgrounds, work situations (e.g., combination with wage-and-salary job), and work histories (e.g., necessity driven self-employment). Little is known about how these diverse groups of solo self-employed prepare for and experience retirement. This is unfortunate, as the solo self-employed differ strongly from wage-and-salary workers: they carry full responsibility to save for old age (not covered by ‘quasi-mandatory’ occupational pensions) and are flexible in the way they shape their retirement (not having a mandatory retirement age). As most retirement theories are developed with wage-and-salary workers in mind, current theories do not fit this emerging new reality.

The current project aims to fill this gap, by unravelling how diversity within the group of solo self-employed is related to preparation for retirement (before state pension age), and to actual retirement experiences (after state pension age). In order to do so, the project takes a sequential mixed-data approach, starting with analyses of existing quantitative panel data, followed by new qualitative data collection, which will inform new quantitative data collection.

Researcher



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