What is pension?

It is customary in the Netherlands to work until a certain age, after which you ‘retire’. You will, however, still need an income. The government grants anyone who has lived and/or worked in the Netherlands a state pension when they reach retirement age. We call this an AOW benefit, or AOW for short.

Your date of birth determines when your AOW starts
The statutory retirement age is going up step by step. More information can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Bank (SVB): SVB.nl.

The AOW benefit is a basic pension. Most employees receive a supplementary pension through their employers. Employees can also put money aside for their pension themselves (individual pension provision).

Pension can thus consist of the following 3 elements:

  1. a basic old age pension from the state, the AOW benefit
  2. pension accrued through the employer
  3. your own pension provisions.

These 3 elements form the pillars of the Dutch pension system: the way in which our income after we retire has been organized in the Netherlands.

Statutory schemes
In addition to the AOW benefit, other statutory schemes are in place in the event that an employee is (partly) disabled or if an employee dies: the WW (Unemployment Benefits Act), the WIA (Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act) and the Anw (Surviving Dependants Act).