The infographic shows the comparative size of the European retirement savings market
. In the Netherlands, the assets of the pension funds
are worth nearly twice the GDP, whereas for example in neighboring Belgium and Germany the value of the pension funds' assets is much smaller, with 5.8 and 6.6 percent of GDP respectively.
Participation in a pension fund in the Netherlands is not a matter of choice, but an obligation for every inhabitant. In the course of their lives, the Dutch build up their pensions automatically by participating in a branch-specific or nationwide pension scheme. For this reason assets of pension funds in the Netherlands
are much higher than in other European countries, which do not always have a comparable system.
With an ageing population, the activities of pension funds and other insurances are not just closely monitored by the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandse Bank, DNB), but also by the general public. Especially the funding ratio of pension funds
and the solvency ratio of health insurances
are topics for public debate, with some questioning how long the current system will be able to continue functioning as it is today.