Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Netherlands - Retirement pension

In what situation can I claim?

The Dutch pension system consists of three pillars: the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW), supplementary pension accrual via the employer and supplementary individual pension policies.

General Old Age Pensions Act (Algemene Ouderdomswet, AOW)

If you live or work in the Netherlands, you are insured under the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW). Everyone who reaches the state pension age has the right to an AOW benefit, the so-called first pillar pension. This provides a basic income for getting by.

From 2013, the statutory retirement age is gradually being raised from 65 years and nine months to reach 67 years and 3 months in 2022. In 2018, the statutory retirement age is 66 years. For those born after 30 September 1956, the pensionable age is linked to life expectancy with a minimum of 67 years and 3 months. You can simulate your AOW-pension age (fixed or as an estimate, depending on your birth date) on the following page https://www.svb.nl/int/en/aow/wat_is_de_aow/wanneer_aow/index.jsp.

See this page for more information about the AOW.

If you live abroad, you can under certain conditions take out insurance for the AOW voluntarily. You must apply for this within one year of starting to live abroad. If you have lived abroad and start living or working in the Netherlands, you can voluntarily purchase extra AOW insurance periods.under strict conditions.

Supplementary pension

If you work in the Netherlands, you can also be insured for a supplementary pension, the so-called second pillar pension. Around 90% of employers have a supplementary pension scheme granting retired employees an additional payment on top of their AOW benefit.

The pension fund of your employer knows how much pension you have built up so far. Basically, employees receive a so-called uniform pension overview (uniform pensioenoverzicht, UPO) every year. You can also consult your online pension insurance record online at: https://www.mijnpensioenoverzicht.nl/pensioenregister.

Individual insurance

Individual policies include annuities, single premium policies and life insurance policies. With this so-called third pillar pension, you can save for extra pension in a fiscally attractive way. For example, in order to fill in a pension gap in the supplementary pension insurance record, or in order to retire early.

Self-employed

The self-employed must arrange their supplementary pension themselves. They can do this with individual insurance policies.

What conditions do I need to meet?

See: In what situation can I claim?

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

For each year that you live or work in the Netherlands, you build up 2% of a full AOW pension. After having been insured for 50 years you are entitled to receive the full AOW pension. If you have lived abroad and were not insured for AOW during that time, you receive 2 percentage points less for each year you have lived abroad. In order to be entitled for AOW, you need to be insured for AOW for at least one year.

If you are living in the Netherlands, an application form will be sent to your home a few months before you reach the statutory retirement age. You must complete and send back this form to the Social Insurance Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank, SVB). If you live in another EU country, you can apply for the AOW from the pension authorities in the country where you are living, or in the country where you were last insured.

The AOW is paid monthly. The amount is adjusted twice a year in line with wage inflation. The holiday allowance is paid in May.

You can find the current AOW rates online.

AIO supplement

If you are living in the Netherlands and do not receive a full AOW pension, and have little other income and means besides your AOW pension, you might be entitled to a supplement to your AOW pension (Additional Income Provision for the Elderly or AIO supplement). This supplement is paid under the Participation Act (Participatiewet). For more information, please see: http://www.svb.nl/int/en/aio/index.jsp.

Jargon busters

  • AOW: the General Old Age Pensions Act. Everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is insured under the AOW Act and has the right to a pension when reaching the statutory retirement age.
  • Statutory retirement age: from 2013, the statutory retirement age – i.e. the age from which you receive AOW -- is being gradually raised from 65 to 66 in 2018 and to 67 and 3 months in 2022. For those born after 30 September 1956, the statutory retirement age is linked to life expectancy.
  • Social Insurance Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank, SVB): The welfare agency in the area of social security in the Netherlands.
  • Additional Income Provision for the Elderly (aanvullende inkomensvoorziening ouderen, AIO): supplement to your pension under the Participation Act

Know your rights

The links below set out your rights. They are not European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the European Commission.

European Commission publication and website:

Who do you need to contact?

State old-age pension (AOW): If you are living in the Netherlands, the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) will send an application form to your home a few months before you reach the statutory retirement age. If you live in another EU country, you can apply for the AOW from the pension authorities in the country where you are living, or in the country where you were last insured.

Supplementary pensions and pension policies: ask your employer for more information. If you are self-employed, you can take out pension insurance yourself.

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