The Swedish pension system has been drastically reformed. The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations would like to understand how the Swedish accomplished such a drastic reform. The central question, then, is how Sweden implemented an economic policy reform that proved to be politically ans socially sustainable. Why was there no opposition to the pension reform? Why did the labour unions accept it? Who gained from the pension reform and who lost? Was there some kind of compensation for specific groups of employees? And what can Dutch politicians and the government learn from their Swedish colleagues? The Ministry asked SEO Economic Research to answer these questions. As the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is the employer of Dutch civil servants, particular emphasis must be placed on the pensions of civil servants and the role of unions for civil servants: why did Swedish labour unions accept the pension reform, what were the consequences for supplementary pensions for civil servants and what can the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations learn from this as the employer of civil servants?

To answer these questions, SEO studied the literature about the Swedish pension reform, theoretical literature about the pros and cons of defined-contribution pension schemes and literature about the demographic, economic and political circumstances of the pension reform in Sweden. The draft report was sent to Stefan Oscarson of the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, who made comments on the text and answered some additional questions. SEO is grateful for his help.