You live on your own (you do not share a household with another adult)

The amount of your AOW pension depends on your situation. If you are not married and you live on your own, you will normally get an AOW pension for a person living alone. This is a different amount than the AOW pension for a person living with another adult

Sometimes, it is not immediately clear what type of pension you should get

Not all situations are the same. Sometimes, it is not immediately clear what type of pension you should get.

Read more about the different situations and what kind of AOW pension you can get.

If you and your partner are living at separate addresses for financial or practical reasons, you will still get an AOW pension for a person living with another adult. 

If you and your partner have separated and you live at separate addresses, you will each get an AOW pension for a person living alone. You are regarded as ‘separated’ if: 

  • you or your partner no longer want to live together, and
  • you live as though you were not together / not married, and
  • that situation does not change

If you inform us that you and your partner have separated, we will need to look at your situation in more detail, even if you are living at separate addresses. For example, we will check to see if:

  • you have stopped living together in the same house permanently
  • you still contact each other, and if so, how often and for what purpose
  • you have separate finances
  • you still do things together, such as going on holiday or visiting family
  • you care for each other in some way, for example: you help each other if you are ill or have to go to the doctor, or you do the gardening or shopping for both of you, or for each other

Example 1 

John and Mary Fisher both get an AOW pension. They agree that their marriage is over but they don’t want an official divorce. They live in separate houses and their finances are completely separate. They don’t have any contact with each other. John and Mary will each get an AOW pension at the rate for a person living alone.

Example 2 

Henry and Tanya Smith both get an AOW pension. They agree that their marriage is over but they don’t want an official divorce. They live in separate houses but they still have a joint bank account. Tanya does the paperwork. Henry has the key to Tanya’s house and sometimes does odd jobs for her when she’s not at home. They see each other on their grown-up children’s birthdays. Henry and Tanya will each get an AOW pension at the rate for a person who is married or sharing a household.

If you get married or enter into a registered partnership, you will get an AOW pension for a person living with another adult, even if you and your partner are not going to live in the same house.

If you are married or in a registered partnership and you live alone only because your partner is in a nursing home, you will normally continue to receive an AOW pension for a person living with another adult. If you prefer, however, you can ask us to change your AOW pension to the rate for a person living alone.  

If you and your partner are not married or in a registered partnership, and you each have a house of your own but you spend most of your time together in one house, we will not check to see whether you are in a shared household.

Your situation may come under the ‘two-house rule’. If so, you must meet all the conditions under the two-house rule before you can get an AOW pension at the rate for a person living alone. 

If you live with your child, or with your father or mother, you can still get an AOW pension at the rate for a person living alone.

If you live with someone aged 18 or over who is not your child or your father or mother, we will check to see whether you can be regarded as having a shared household with that person. 

If you live with 2 or more adults, it will depend on your situation whether you will get an AOW pension for a person living with another adult or for a person living alone.