To be eligible to receive most of the social benefits provided by the government in the Netherlands, you need to be living in the country. Hence, if you have been receiving benefits and you move abroad, in general you will lose the right to these benefits.
As a rule, everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is covered by the Dutch national insurance scheme which is administered by the Social Security Office (Sociale Verzekeringbank – SVB). Through this scheme, you build up rights to an old age (AOW) pension and qualify for child benefits and survivor benefits.
However, if you leave the Netherlands, you will cease to be covered by the Dutch national insurance system. This will mean that:
- You will not be able to continue to build up to a full AOW pension
- You will not be able to claim a Dutch child benefit
- If you pass away before your spouse, your partner may not receive any income from the National Survivor Benefits Act (ANW), or they may only get a reduced amount, depending upon your new country of residence
Here are some guidelines regarding certain benefits:
General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW)
For some countries, e.g. within the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, the level of pension that you will have built up during your stay in the Netherlands will be paid to you when you reach pensionable age. For other countries, your full pension rights may be restricted or your payment rights may be stopped altogether after your move.
Child Benefit Act (AKW)
You will cease to receive AKW payments for your children once you and your family leave the Netherlands. If you remain in the Netherlands, but your child moves to live abroad permanently, then you will also lose your AKW entitlement. This will occur when you deregister your child from the municipality. When you first arrived in the Netherlands, you were obliged to register with the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP, the municipality’s personal records database). You can change your status online by logging onto the ‘My SVB’.
Disability Insurance Act (WAO/WIA)
In general, you will lose your right to a disability benefit (WIA) when you leave the Netherlands. However, the Netherlands has treaty agreements with certain countries including those of the EU, EEA and Switzerland where you will be entitled to continue receiving a benefit.
If you receive any other social benefit, you need to contact the organisation that pays the benefit to find out whether it can be continued after you have left the Netherlands.
In all cases, you are legally obliged to inform the organisation that pays your benefit about your plan to leave the Netherlands.
National Survivor Benefits Act (ANW)
If you or your partner dies after leaving the Netherlands, the surviving spouse may be entitled to receive a partial ANW benefit
To obtain contacts and/or special information that may apply to your situation visit the SVB website