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Dutch pension system

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What is the pension age in the Netherlands and who is entitled?

The Algemene Ouderdomswet – AOW  is a basic state pension insurance scheme. Everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is insured automatically, regardless of nationality. As a rule, everyone who has reached the pension age and lives or has lived in the Netherlands is entitled to an AOW pension. You will be paid a pension from the day you reach the pension age that applies for you. If you do not live in the Netherlands at that time, you may only get a part of your AOW, depending on the treaties between the Netherlands and the country where you live.

For every year that you are insured, you build up rights to 2% of the full AOW pension. If you have been insured for the full number of years (which is 50) you will get a full AOW pension. If you have lived or worked outside the Netherlands, you are likely to have been uninsured during certain periods and may get a lower pension as a result. See below general information about when you are entitled to retire in the Netherlands:

  • The retirement age is currently 65 years and nine months, but will increase to 66 in 2018 and to 67 in 2021. As from 2022, the pension age will be linked to the average life expectancy and thus could be greater than 67
  • If you were born before 1 January 1948, your pension age is 65
  • If you were born on or after 1 January 1948, your pension age will depend on your date of birth
  • As from 2022, the pension age will be linked to the average life expectancy and thus could be above 67

The AOW is not designed to be a standalone income for retirees in the Netherlands and should be supplemented by a company/occupational pension (labour-based pension) or private pension scheme, or both.