Labor market

Labor market

More self-employed professionals. People change jobs more often. Fewer prospects of a permanent contract. The labor market is changing. And the pension world is changing along. The new pension system, for example, taps into these changes. But how do we do that in specific terms? And what other labor market trends are there? More about that on this page.

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5 Publications

“People in their thirties think anyone who works more than 40 hours a week is nuts.”

Published on: 23 September 2020

This week is National Vitality Week. That means: a lot of attention for vitality and work satisfaction. Younger and older employees sometimes have very different views about the latter. Overall, what are the biggest differences? “People in their thirties think anyone who works more than 40 hours a week is nuts.”


Work satisfaction is a flexible concept. Generation X (born between 1955-1970), has a different understanding of it than the millennials (1985-2000), or Gen-Z (2000-2015). The older generation, to a greater extend, lives to work, while younger people really value their private life and their lifestyle. Generation strategist Marjolein Risseeuw knows all about this. She helps teams to bridge the differences in the workplace, gives online and offline workshops (corona-proof), and wrote the book Zó X! Hoe de Nieuwe Leiders Talenten in Organisaties Verbinden (So X! How the New Leaders Connect Talents in Organizations). We asked her what the views of people in their thirties and fifties are regarding the various aspects of their professional lives.


Sense of duty and authority

30: “Young people don’t want a hierarchy; they want equality. They want to use their talents. They want trust and freedom. Inspiration instead of commands. Not a job for life, but to make an impact. They’re happy to do something for you, but you have to gain their trust first.”

50: ”They want power, but they also need to show the capacity for empathy, find out what occupies the minds of young people and not just issue orders. They still lean heavily towards procedures and meetings. They make deliberate decisions based on much more information than people in their thirties. They see this as being committed to the company. Lifetime employment is still a thing for many in this age group.”

Young people want freedom, trust, inspiration and equality


30: “They value the internal more than the external. Company cars are out. They are increasingly opting for more of a self-employment existence and temporary contracts. An employment contract is no longer a status symbol for them; the work atmosphere is much more important. They are looking for an inspiring work environment.”

50: “Older people, particularly people in their sixties, are often the breadwinners. They need their salaries to support the family. The traditional nuclear family, where (usually) the husband works to pay the mortgage and the wife (usually) takes care of the kids. There is a bit of a reversal around age 50; many women are gradually becoming the breadwinners at that age.”


Leisure time

30: “They think anyone who works more than forty hours a week is nuts. They really manage their own work time. For them, work and private life are divided 24/7. They are ambitious enough, and they also want personal appreciation, but only when the time is right for them. I call it restrained freedom. To start with, they’re already working three or four days a week, instead of five. They use their leisure time much more concretely, for example, by fundraising for good causes, or other social-societal initiatives.”

50: “They feel that if they’re working forty hours a week they’re doing well. The work-private life balance is very important to 80 percent of them and they keep the two separated. They often see leisure time as time to spend with the kids. There is a difference between men and women. Men who go and watch a soccer match on a Wednesday afternoon call that leisure time during work, whereas mothers will take a day off for it. In this way the woman is often a thief of her own wallet.”


Working from home

30: “People used to move for their work, but that’s no longer happening. Young people think it’s enough that they are available and accessible. Self-direction and personal development are very important to them. With the great increase in working from home, currently, we are seeing that they are developing some physical and mental issues; the traditional mouse arm is back. They really need to protect the boundaries of the work-private life balance. When they’re working from home, they need to learn to take a step back from their work.”

50: “In the past, many senior managers believed that working from home was not possible. They wanted coworkers to be absolutely available, so that they could just walk over to their office for a meeting. That has really changed since corona. Now they like working from home, particularly because of the freedom. They do need very clear goals and a strong footing. Phone contact is very important to them; they like to hear a voice.”


Retraining and further training

30: “They choose a company for the development opportunities they will get there. But, because of their individualism, they keep having to motivate themselves. You have to offer them an environment where they can easily learn and develop themselves.”

50: “They like coaching and many seniors are good at it too. They certainly have a degree of curiosity to keep learning. But it does have to fit in with their frame of reference. Among people in their sixties we see less capacity for self-reflection; after all they have hardly ever done any coaching.”



30: “They look at retirement very differently than people who are now in their fifties did when they were in their thirties. Young people are mostly focused on how things fit into their lifestyle and definitely not on their retirement. They switch jobs often and get a lot more satisfaction from social projects. Only the ones that already have a family and a mortgage are thinking a bit more about their financial future.”

50: “Twenty years ago they were much more focused on their career planning, salary and steady job to pay the mortgage. That also included a contribution to their pension. And if you changed jobs, they used the term pension loss. Young people are not familiar with that term.”

Work satisfaction: what exactly does that mean, now and in the future? We asked Roxy and Rob, two people from different generations.


“Certainty, hard work and enjoyment”


Roxy van Dijk (27) is a consultant/mortgage broker at Viisi.

“Work satisfaction to me is first and foremost certainty That includes a good salary and benefits. Next, self-development and work culture are very important to me. At Viisi, you have the freedom to pick up other work in addition to your position. Working hard and celebrating successes together are part of that culture here. We are all there for each other when it’s busy, but also for personal challenges. I obviously have a long way to go before I retire, but I’m consciously working on my pension. Purchasing my own home is a good step. I also contribute to an additional pension plan through Brand New Day on my own. But it’s also very important to me to live in the moment and enjoy life. Sometimes it takes a bit of exploring to find the right balance.”



“Going home feeling satisfied at the end of the day”


Rob Monissen (59) is personal aide in social care at Koraal.

“Work satisfaction is the conviction that you’re doing something that helps others. It also means you have nice coworkers and that you go home feeling satisfied at the end of the day. In practice, this means that it varies from day to day and it depends on a number of factors. Although my work gives me a lot of satisfaction, I am looking forward to doing things I enjoy, when the times comes for me to retire. I will combine this with volunteer work, as much as body and mind will allow it. There are things that I’m already looking forward to now. The count-down has begun, despite the fact that I have a varied job right now.”

Volgende publicatie:
“Getting a taste of the Champions League of Asset Management”

“Getting a taste of the Champions League of Asset Management”

Published on: 3 April 2020

A new group of trainees will start at APG on October 1st. And despite the current situation caused by the corona crisis, the vacancies for this traineeship have been unfulfilled since April 1st. The feisty procedure takes a few months to complete. Hans Rademaker, starting as a trainee himself in 1987 at Van Lanschot Kempen, meanwhile holds the position of Chief Fiduciary Officer and is a member of the Management Board of APG AM. In addition, he oversees the traineeships.


What does a traineeship at APG Asset Management involve?

“This is a two years’ program where trainees sign up for a certain process, for example at Portfolio Management, Operations & IT or Finance & Risk. They carry out four assignments in these two years, which means they get to know APG pretty well. Not only the way in which we work, but also our standards and values. Apart from the substantive knowledge required, a great deal of attention is also paid to personal development. They go through the entire process with the other trainees who joined us this round and such group often continues to be tight for quite some time. The program results in valuable contacts for the remainder of your career at APG. This means we have very powerful people at the end of those two years who we are happy to employ as colleagues.

The ultimate goal is for these trainees to be employed by APG after two years and this job guarantee is offered by us. This assures the trainee that he or she doesn’t have to apply for an internal vacancy once the traineeship has ended. We obviously pay close attention to the match between the needs of the trainees and those of the organization when offering a job.”


Why should a young professionals choose APG?

“APG offers amazing opportunities as the trainees gain experience at one of the largest pension providers in the world. Specifically, when you look at Asset Management, the trainees will be dealing with portfolio management on a scale only a few organizations of this size have. We conduct business with parties belonging to the top of the world, ourselves included. As a trainee, you are allowed to get a taste of the Champions League of Asset Management. That may sound a bit arrogant, but that’s just the way it is.”


What type of trainees are we looking for?

“We are looking for people who, first of all, are able to identify with the social role of APG. Someone who preferably engages in commercial goals is not a right fit for us. The people at APG are ultimately working for our participants and, besides good financial returns, we also have the obligation to realize a good social return.


In addition, and no less important, the trainees must be able to help us digitalizing further. Affinity with digitalization is a must to move forward in the digital world. We have to achieve a situation in which everyone can work anytime, anyplace, anywhere at any device and with the same information. Not only for us, but also for our clients. That calls for an entirely different way of handling information. Take, for example, annual reports and news articles: instead of analyzing these manually, we want to start the process of using algorithms to scan the annual reports and other news articles after which the particulars are presented to us. That has to be something a trainee is interested in and he or she must have the competence to contribute to similar initiatives.


Motivation, passion, interest and drive are just as important as a good education and good basic skills. If you are a digital illiterate, it will become very difficult to keep up and to make a valuable contribution.”


What does APG itself want to achieve with this?

“One of the goals we are also looking to achieve with the trainee program is more diversity in the broadest sense of the word. Not only the ratio between men and women, but also the ratio between young and old is important. We also strive to employ people from different cultures and so it’s very convenient that also English-speaking trainees from different countries and cultures are more than welcome at Asset Management.”


What would you like to say to future trainees, do you have a tip?

“My advice is: invest in yourself during the trainee period. Don’t expect to be handed a great job on a platter without having to work for it really hard. I always say that you also have to perform certain chores, show endurance and have patience to eventually end up in the position you strive for. And I don’t mean that disrespectfully. Every job will involve tasks that need to be done and that nobody really likes. But by taking on also those less desirable tasks, you can learn a lot and are able to prove yourself. And if you do, I’m sure you will make it!”

Volgende publicatie:
APG Top Employer for the twelfth time

APG Top Employer for the twelfth time

Published on: 8 February 2019

APG has been named Top Employer Netherlands for the twelfth year..


APG has been named Top Employer Netherlands for the twelfth year. The award is only given to employers who demonstrate that they offer the best career opportunities, organizational culture, working conditions, development opportunities and working conditions. And we're proud of that


This year APG scored particularly high on leadership development and career opportunities. Wondering about the career opportunities at Top Employer APG? Go to

Volgende publicatie:
Variable compensation at APG

Variable compensation at APG

Published on: 16 May 2017

There’s a lot of talk at the moment in the media and the political world about variable compensation at APG. We´d like to offer an explanation about the developments, background and coming changes on this subject.


Variable compensation at APG only for investment company employees

Partly due to social discussions held earlier, APG decided, together with its stakeholders, to adapt its remuneration policy. Since 1 January 2016, APG Group no longer offers any variable compensation for the vast majority of its over 3,300 employees. Only some employees in the Asset Management business unit qualify for variable compensation. That business unit also has offices in the United States and Hong Kong, where variable compensation constitutes a larger share of overall compensation than at APG in the Netherlands. For the compensation-of these employees abroad, a balance is sought between what is acceptable in the Netherlands and what is typical in the local job market and thus necessary for binding good employees to APG. The level of the variable compensation is therefore higher abroad.


Investments made as much as possible by own employees in order to save costs

APG Asset Management’s policy focuses on making investments as much as possible using internal professionals, firstly in order to have tighter control over the implementation and secondly, in order to keep the costs of investments as low as possible for our clients and their participants. For this we have to attract and retain qualified employees and therefore assume relatively higher wage costs, but in so doing we save substantially on the costs compared to external implementation. This requires a remuneration policy that fits the local job markets - which happen to be two of the world´s most important financial centers.


In 2016 APG achieved a net return of over € 40 billion

The reason why APG also has offices abroad and wishes to invest as much as possible internally is to be able to achieve the maximum return for participants. In 2016, for the pension funds on whose behalf it invested, APG Asset Management attained a net return of more than € 40 billion, which directly benefits the participants of those funds. Good investment results in turn have an impact on the level of the variable compensation that is paid out. The net return obtained for the funds ABP, bpfBOUW, SPW and PPF APG over the past five years (2012-2016) amounted to more than € 164 billion.


Variable compensation in 2016 virtually equal to 2015

Over 2016 the variable compensation for employees of APG Asset Management amounted to € 31.5 million euros. Because for the most part this concerns employees in the foreign offices, fluctuations in the dollar’s exchange rate have an impact on the amount of this compensation. Measured in local currency, the relevant compensations are in line with 2015.


Further tightening of variable compensation

Partly in connection with the social discussion on variable compensation, APG is currently looking at whether the bonuses in the Asset Management business unit in the Netherlands can be further tightened.

Volgende publicatie:
Self-employed (zzp'er) does not use an average of 1,450 euros in tax credits

Self-employed (zzp'er) does not use an average of 1,450 euros in tax credits

Published on: 2 November 2016

ZZPs (Self-Employed Person without staff) hardly make use of the tax scheme designed to make pension savings more appealing. Independent entrepreneurs not making extensive use of this scheme means they miss hundreds to thousands of euros in tax credits. This scheme is worth considering at incomes exceeding 1,000 euros per month. Over 70% of the ZZPs is not aware of this scheme. This is apparent from online surveys of ZZP Pension, conducted among 200 ZZPs in late September.


Not aware of pension solutions

In the survey, ZZPs indicate they do not know much about the various pension solutions. Only 15 percent of the entrepreneurs surveyed assesses their own knowledge on this theme as ‘good’.  A vast majority of ZZPs (70%) is not or hardly at all aware of the so-called annual margin scheme. Within this scheme, it is possible to use an amount for supplementary pension accrual. This amount can subsequently be deducted from the income in the tax return. Of the independent self-employed and freelancers surveyed, 29% makes use of this scheme, among others via ZZP Pension.


Click here to read the full press release on the ZZP Pension website (only available in Dutch).


About ZZP Pension

ZZP Pensioen (ZZP Pension) is initiated by Stichting ZZP Nederland (ZZP Foundation Netherlands), Zelfstandigen Bouw, FNV Zelfstandigen and Vereniging Platform Zelfstandige Ondernemers (PZO-ZZP) and Loyalis. These organizations have joined forces in Stichting ZZP Pension with the objective of encouraging pension accrual for and by self-employed people employing no personnel. ZZP Pension is a non-mandatory retirement pension, including the accrual phase up to retirement date and the pension benefit / annuity process. The participant personally determines the pay-out period of the pension scheme and how much or when the premium amounts are paid in. This scheme’s competitive edge are its life cycle accrual and its low cost, which is comparable to the cost of a group pension scheme. ZZP Pension offers the participants insight into the value of their accrued pension through an online portal.


Visit for more information.