What is voluntary insurance?
Voluntary insurance is insurance under the Dutch old‑age pension scheme (AOW) or survivor benefit scheme (Anw), or both, that you can take out yourself for periods when you are/were not automatically insured under these schemes. You will have to pay a contribution every year. Voluntary insurance can be to your advantage if you leave the Netherlands or if you only start living in the Netherlands later in life.
If you live or work in the Netherlands, you will probably be automatically insured under the AOW and Anw schemes. If you are insured, you will get an AOW pension when you reach your AOW pension age. If you die, your partner and children may be able to get an Anw survivor benefit, providing they meet the qualifying conditions.
This will change if you leave the Netherlands. Your AOW pension will stop growing and your partner and children will not get a survivor benefit in the event of your death. If you want to prevent this, you can take out voluntary insurance under the AOW scheme, the Anw scheme, or both.
If you started living or working in the Netherlands at a later stage in your life, you will have missed a period of AOW pension insurance. You can take out voluntary AOW insurance for the years before you came to the Netherlands. In other words: you can buy back insurance. These years will then count towards your entitlement to AOW pension.
It is not possible to take out voluntary insurance under the Anw scheme for a period in the past.