Why take out voluntary insurance?
As a rule, if you live or work in the Netherlands you will be insured under the AOW old age pension scheme and the Anw survivor benefit scheme. If you have been insured for the full 50 years preceding your AOW pension age, you will get a full AOW pension.
No longer insured if you live or work outside the Netherlands
If you start living or working outside the Netherlands, you will normally cease to be covered under the AOW and Anw schemes. This means that:
- you will get a reduced AOW pension when you reach your AOW pension age
- if you pass away, your partner will get either a reduced Anw survivor benefit or no survivor benefit at all
- if your children are orphaned, they will not get an orphan's benefit
You can avoid these consequences by taking out voluntary insurance.
Three types of voluntary insurance
You can take out voluntary insurance for:
- old age pension (AOW)
- survivor benefit (Anw), or
- both AOW and Anw
New residents of the Netherlands can pay backdated AOW contributions
If you started living or working in the Netherlands at some point in the 50-year period preceding your AOW pension age, you will not have been able to build up a full pension under the AOW scheme. As a result, you will get a reduced AOW pension when you reach your pension age.
However, you can still get a full AOW pension by taking out voluntary insurance retroactively for the period between the date which is 50 years before your AOW pension age and the date on which you came to live or work in the Netherlands. (This option is only available if you have come to live or work in the Netherlands for the first time.) NB: This is not possible for Anw insurance.