The role of the active-age lifespan in determining the retirement span is investigated as a cross-section showing the effect of labour-market trends on pensions in Hungary. The study, however, is longitudinal and limited to birth cohorts that will reach pensionable age in the next 15 years. Their labour market performance is estimated and analysed by gender and educational attainment. Estimates of their employment and earnings then result in establishing their eligibility for an old-age pension and their expectable level of pension. Since the study is based on cross-sectional data, longitudinal calculations imply a rather high level of uncertainty. So conclusions about the number of people ineligible under prevailing pension rules and of those whose pensions will be extremely low are given in a fairly wide range. However, it can be stated with high probability that these two groups will include several hundred thousand people, most of them with a low educational attainment.