The Dutch pension system is based on three pillars and the amount depends on different factors.
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
Occupational pension: the second pillar.
- This is an additional retirement income, provided by some employers.
Individual supplements: the third pillar
- Occupational disability insurance (via an insurer)
State pension (AOW)
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 and depends on your date of birth. 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)
Pension through your employer
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.
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 mijnpesioenoverzicht.nl or contact the pension funds concerned.
Your employee pension fund takes into 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 from outside the Netherlands
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.
You can also check out the useful information on Your Europe if you have lived and worked in other EU countries.
Receiving your AOW while living outside of the Netherlands
If you live and work outside the Netherlands, you are usually no longer insured under the AOW pension scheme. Instead of the AOW pension, you may be able to build up a pension in the country where you live or work. Whether or not you receive an AOW pension outside the Netherlands depends on which country you live in or move to. You can receive a full AOW pension in some countries but not in all. To see whether you can get an AOW pension and AOW top-up go to SVB.nl and choose the country you will be living in.
If you live outside the Netherlands, you must apply for an AOW pension yourself six months before you reach your AOW pension age. Read about how and where to apply on the Netherlands Worldwide website!