Insurance under the Dutch AOW pension scheme
To qualify for an AOW pension, you must have been insured under the AOW pension scheme. Insurance under the AOW scheme usually happens automatically.
If you live or work in the Netherlands, you are usually insured under the AOW pension scheme. Your pension will grow with each year of insurance. Below, you can read more about being insured and building up an AOW pension.
Building up an AOW pension:
- For each year of insurance, you build up 2% of the maximum AOW pension
- You will get a full AOW pension if you have been insured for 50 years
- You can only build up your AOW pension in the 50 years before you reach your AOW pension age.
You will not get an AOW pension if you were born on or after 1 January 1950 and you were insured under the AOW scheme for less than 1 year.
Peter’s AOW pension age is 66. Peter can build up his AOW pension from his 16th to his 66th birthday. Peter has always lived and worked in the Netherlands, so he will get a full pension.
Anna’s AOW pension age is 66 years and 8 months. Anna can build up her AOW pension from the age of 16 and 8 months to the age of 66 and 8 months. During this period, Anna spent 1 year in Spain. This means she has built up 2% less AOW. When she reaches her pension age, Anna will therefore get 98% of the full AOW pension amount.
If you are going to live or work outside the Netherlands but you want to keep building up your AOW pension, you may be able to take out voluntary AOW insurance.
Exceptions to the general rules on Dutch social insurance
Read more about the exceptions
If you live in the Netherlands, you will not be insured in the following situations:
- If you work outside the Netherlands and you do not have a Dutch posting certificate
- If you work for a company outside the Netherlands in a country that is not a member state of the European Union ( EU) or that does not have an treaty country with the Netherlands.
- If you work as a civil servant for another country’s embassy or consulate, or for an international organisation such as NATO or the EU. Your family members will only be insured if they work in the Netherlands or receive a Dutch social security benefit.
- If you work for the government of another country or the government of Curaçao, Aruba of Sint Maarten. Your family members will only be insured if they work in the Netherlands or receive a Dutch social security benefit.
- If you work in international transport for a non-Dutch employer, transporting persons or goods mainly outside the Netherlands. For more information, go to ‘Working in 2 or more countries’
- If you work in the Netherlands and you have a posting certificate (certificate of coverage) from another country
- If you are studying in the Netherlands temporarily and are not employed
If you live outside the Netherlands, you will still be insured in the Netherlands in the following situations:
- If you work and pay tax and social insurance contributions in the Netherlands, and you do not have a posting certificate from another country
- If you work outside the Netherlands and you have a Dutch posting certificate (certificate of coverage)
- If you have Dutch nationality and you work outside the Netherlands for a Dutch embassy or consulate or another Dutch government institution. Your family members will stay insured as well unless they also start working outside the Netherlands. In that case, their insurance position may change, depending on how much income they earn.
- If you work in international transport for a Netherlands-based company and you transport goods or persons. If you live on board ship and you are insured, your family members will be insured with you (co-insured). Different rules apply within the EU. For more information, go to ‘Working in 2 or more countries’. Please note: you will not be insured if you work mainly in the country where you live or if you work for a branch of your company outside the Netherlands
- If you are staying outside the Netherlands temporarily to study and you do not work in that country
- If you are receiving care in one of a number of care institutions outside the Netherlands, such as the Dutch sanatorium in Davos
If you are going to work outside the Netherlands temporarily, it may still be possible for you to stay insured in the Netherlands. For more information, go to ‘International Posting’.
Working in 2 or more countries
If you work in 2 or more countries, different rules may apply. If you work in paid employment in 2 or more EU Member States, you will be insured in the country where you live if:
- you spend more than 25% of your time working in the country where you live, or
- you work for a company that is based in the country where you live
You will also be insured in the country where you live if you work for different employers in different EU Member States. These rules also apply to employees working in international transport.
If you want to know more about your insurance position, contact us.
If you do not wish to be covered by any form of insurance because of your convictions or beliefs, you can request a statement (an exemption) to show that you are not insured in the Netherlands.
social insurance contributions for the Dutch national insurance schemes are usually deducted automatically from your wages or benefit. If you do not want to be insured under the Dutch system, you may be able to apply for exemption. In that case, you will no longer have to pay contributions, but your coverage under the Dutch social security system will also stop.
If you have an income and you are insured under the Dutch national insurance schemes, you must pay tax and national insurance social insurance contributions.
National insurance contributions are paid to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). If you work for an employer, your employer will deduct these contributions from your wages or salary.
If you have not paid the full amount of AOW contributions for a certain period, the SVB can declare you ‘in default’. This means that you will get a lower AOW pension when you reach your AOW pension age.
The role of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst)
The Belastingdienst determines how much you must pay in national insurance contributions. If you do not pay, you are ‘in default’ of the payment of national insurance contributions. The Belastingdienst is obliged by law to inform the SVB of this.
If you have any questions about your income tax assessment, you should contact the Belastingdienst on 0800 0543 (from inside the Netherlands).
If you call from outside the Netherlands, dial +31 555 385 385.
The role of the SVB
If the Belastingdienst notifies us that you are in default of the payment of national insurance contributions, we will assess whether you are ‘at fault’. You are considered to be at fault if you yourself are responsible for not paying the necessary AOW pension contributions.
If you have been declared ‘in default’, you can still pay the missing contributions to the Belastingdienst. That way, your AOW pension will not go down.