Pension Economics and Governance


Course Objective

After the course, the student should be able to reproduce the
definitions of essential concepts, and apply them to case situations
(Bridging Theory and Practice). Students can provide a complete
discussion of pro's and con's, set up arguments, and evaluate cases from
different points of view. During the course, students will apply the
material in a negotiation game, in which they have to improvise in a
stylized case, and demonstrate their capacity to balance arguments and
interests. This game will require teamwork skills. While writing a brief
paper, students show their individual writing skills, their ability to
apply concepts, and their analytical competence.

Course Content

This course aims to introduce students in the field of pensions.
Pensions is a multidisciplinary field, dealing with huge sums of money
and their impact on real people's lives. In the course we will emphasize
the financial aspect of pensions, besides considering challenges of
longevity from the macro economic, and institutional approaches. The
course is not for calculus lovers, but for those students who like the
challenge of complex issues, with a huge societal relevance. We will
consider the basics of pension plans, and compare international
variants, before moving on to analyze pension reforms. Thus, the course
provides both structural knowledge and understanding, as well as an
update on current policy topics. Since The Netherlands is a world
leading pensions country, the course may raise your interest in working
in the Dutch pension sector (e.g. asset management, providers/admin,

Teaching Methods

- Lectures
The lectures will be interactive, thus encouraging students to think for
themselves about the topics.
- Tutorials
For the tutorials, attendance is required. Tutorials will be
interactive, and may require some student presentations. In one of the
tutorials, we will play a negotiation game (serious gaming).
Note that this course cannot be passed without attending (most of the)
classes. Lecture notes are exam material.

Method of Assessment

Exam 60 % (individual; closed book)
Paper 20 % (individual)
Classroom presentation 10 % (group)
Negotiation game 10 % (individual or group)


Mandatory book (available via VU bookstore):
N. Barr & P. Diamond, 2009, 'Pension Reform: a Short Guide'
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (30 Nov. 2009)
ISBN-10: 0195387724 ISBN-13: 978-0195387728
Other reading materials (mandatory and optional) will be published via
Note that all content discussed during the lectures and tutorials
(including slides) is part of the mandatory study material.

Target Audience

Primary target groups: students of financial management, finance,
macro/micro economics, public finance, industrial organization, labor
economics, public policy.
Secondary target groups: students of political studies, health studies,
life sciences. Please note the recommended background knowledge.

Recommended background knowledge

- basic concepts of economics (micro, macro, social security)
- basis concepts of finance (risk and return, asset classes, duration)
- basis concepts of business (balance sheet, reporting)

General Information

Course Code E_BA_PEG
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator prof. dr. S.G. van der Lecq
Examiner prof. dr. S.G. van der Lecq
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: