My first IAHSA visit to Amsterdam took place in the fall of 2003.   The weather was cold, wet and blustery but that did not dampen the passion of the large number of Dutch citizens protesting a government proposal to raise the retirement age.   The park outside my hotel was full of posters, speeches and protesters, all united in one voice – don’t mess with my retirement age and pension.

Now 6 years later it has happened.   According to a story in Reuters, the Dutch government agreed Friday to raise the pension retirement age by two years to 67 in an effort to improve state finances and cope with a shortage of workers in a widely expected move that has angered trade unions. A government think-tank estimates raising the retirement age will save the state four billion euros annually.

Other EU countries are also looking at their retirement policies, certainly important in light of the warning issued last week by the EU about the risk of ignoring ageing demographics.