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The Dutch pension system is based on three pillars. The first pillar consists of basic statutory pensions which are provided by the government.

  • the state old age pension AOW
  • the surviving dependants benefit ANW
  • the occupational disability benefit WIA

ABP pension: the second pillar An additional retirement income, provided by your employer, is earned with your accumulated ABP pension.

  • ABP Multi-option Pension and ABP Retirement Pension
  • ABP Surviving Dependants Pension
  • ABP Occupational Disability Pension
  • ABP Extra Pension, or Life insurance (via an insurer)
  • ABP Partner Plus Pension

Individual supplements: the third pillar

  • Occupational disability insurance (via an insurer)


The General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW) is a basic state pension for people who have reached their AOW pension age. If you live or work in the Netherlands, you will almost certainly be insured under the AOW scheme. AOW pension is paid by the SVB. Since there are relatively fewer people in work to bear the increasing cost of the state pension, the state pension age has been gradually raised since 2013. The Rutte-Asscher government wants to raise the state pension age even faster: to 66 in 2018 and 67 in 2021. In addition to the AOW, you can build up supplementary pensions through employers or private pension plans.

  • Pension through your employer 
  • Pension from outside the Netherlands
  • AOW (state pension)


If you are employed, you are probably building up rights to a company pension through your employer. Your employer, and you yourself, in most cases, will pay a monthly contribution into a pension fund. When you retire, the pension fund will pay you a pension. Your employer can tell you whether you are building up a pension, and, if so, how much you can expect to receive. You can also view details of your pensions at this website (only available in Dutch).

 AOW deductible

Your employee pension fund takes account of the fact that you will receive an AOW pension. Therefore, you will not build up pension rights on your whole salary. The part of your salary on which you do not pay contributions is known as the AOW deductible. The amount of AOW deductible differs among pension schemes. For more information, contact your employer or your pension fund.

 Pension through previous employers

If you have previously worked for other employers, you will probably have built up pension rights under different funds. For an overall picture of your pension rights, visit this site (only available in Dutch) or contact the pension funds concerned.


If you have lived or worked outside the Netherlands, and you were not working for a Netherlands-based employer then, you may have built up pension rights outside the Netherlands. If you have not yet reached your AOW pension age, you will have to contact the pension agency in that country for information about your non-Dutch pension. If you have already reached your AOW pension age, in many cases the SVB will arrange for your claim for a basic pension from another country. They will do this at the same time as they process your AOW pension claim, but only for the following countries:

  • Member states of the EU (European Union) or the EEA (European Economic Area)
  • Countries with which the Netherlands has a social security agreement
  • An agreement has been concluded between the Netherlands and Pakistan on the verification of benefit entitlements. Under this agreement, all AOW pension payments to Pakistan are based on a maximum of 50% of the Dutch net minimum wage.

If you have lived or worked in a country not mentioned above, you must contact the pension institution in that country yourself. If you have built up a company or a private pension outside the Netherlands, you must contact your former employer or the pension fund concerned. For full information on the government pension AOW, see this link.

You can also check out the useful information at this link if you have lived and worked in other EU countries.