Insurance under the AOW scheme

People are usually insured under the AOW pension scheme automatically if they live or work in the Netherlands. 

However, there are exceptions to this general rule, for example, if you live or work in another country.

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:

  • You work outside the Netherlands and you do not have a Dutch posting certificate
  • You work for a company outside the Netherlands in a country that is not a member state of the European Union ( EU) or a treaty country.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 EU countries’
  • You work in the Netherlands and you have a posting certificate (certificate of coverage) from another country
  • 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:

  • You work and pay tax and social insurance contributions in the Netherlands, and you do not have a posting certificate from another country
  • You work outside the Netherlands and you have a Dutch posting certificate (certificate of coverage)
  • 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.
  • You work in international transport for a company based in the Netherlands 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).
    For more information, go to ‘Working in 2 or more EU 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
  • You are staying outside the Netherlands temporarily to study and you do not work in that country
  • 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’.

If you have an income and you are insured under the Dutch national insurance system, you must pay wage tax and national 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 us 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.