What is pension?

It is usual in the Netherlands to work until you reach a certain age. After that you retire. But you still need an income. Everyone who has lived and/or worked in the Netherlands eventually receives an old age pension (AOW) from the Dutch state. The date on which you start to receive state pension depends on your date of birth. The state pension age is going up step-by-step. More information can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Bank: SVB.nl.

The Dutch state pension (known as AOW) is a basic pension. Most employees receive a supplementary pension through their employers. Employees may also save for their pension themselves (individual pension provision).

'Pension' can therefore comprise 3 elements:

  • a basic old age pension from the state, AOW
  • pension accrued through the employer
  • your own pension provisions

These 3 elements form the pillars of the Dutch pension system: the way we have arranged for an income after retirement in the Netherlands.

Statutory schemes
Apart from the state old age pension, there are statutory regulations to deal with situations when an employee is no longer able to work, or is partially unable to work, or dies: the WW (Unemployment (Benefits) Act), the WIA (Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act) and the Anw (Surviving Dependants Act).