Algorithms and AOW pension

By using algorithms, we can take automated decisions that determine quickly and accurately how much AOW pension you can get.

One of the algorithms combines all of the information that we need and that we have already have in our system. For example: place of residence, and periods of work and stay in another country. We use this data to calculate whether you are entitled to a full AOW pension. After we have awarded an AOW pension, different algorithms are used to make sure you receive your pension automatically every month. Simple changes in your or your family's situation, such as a move to a new address within the Netherlands, will also be processed automatically.

The use of algorithms means that 90% of our pension and benefit decisions are fully automated. We do not need as much information from you and the costs per pension or benefit are lower. If the algorithm cannot verify the data, the automated processing will stop and we will deal with the problem in person.

If we do not calculate your AOW pension correctly, it could lead to financial problems. You might find that you do not have enough money to live on, or that you have received too much and have to pay it back. These are difficult situations that can result in debt. By using automated data processing and algorithms, we can avoid human error and prevent debt.

Algorithms help us to predict the total cost of our pensions and benefits for the national budget. A good algorithm reduces the number of client cases processed manually. This saves money and gives us more time for individual cases where necessary.

The rules and legislation governing each of our pension and benefit schemes have been converted into a set of questions. The algorithms go through a question set step by step to arrive at a correct decision. We programme the questions in our system ourselves.

Our algorithms are prescriptive. This means decisions are taken automatically. We check the algorithms and make any necessary improvements. They cannot do this themselves.

The data we process is very sensitive. That is why the algorithms have been developed by our most experienced staff. Client panels were also asked for feedback during the development stages.

In addition, we have a very detailed set of internal guidelines on how to process data. We regularly check and cross-check to make sure we are using the data securely and keeping to the rules.

Our main sources of data are: 

  • the Dutch municipal population registers¬†
  • the insurance records we keep in connection with the Dutch national insurance schemes.¬†
  • international records systems for clients living outside the Netherlands