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Did you know that if you’ve lived in the Netherlands for any length of time, you’re likely entitled to a Dutch state pension, better known as the ‘AOW’? If you’d like to discover just how much your Dutch pension is worth upon retirement, then read on!
Calculating your AOW start date and monthly amounts
Anyone aged between 15 and 65 and who has lived for one or more years in the Netherlands, automatically builds an AOW. As a general guide, you can expect to receive 2% of the total state pension amount for each year that you have lived in the country (click here for current AOW amounts). For example, if you spent five years living as an expat in the Netherlands, then you’ll receive 10% upon your AOW start date, or if you are a Dutch citizen who emigrated at 35 years of age, then you’ll be entitled to 60% AOW. Even if you did not work during the period in which you lived in the Netherlands, but were officially registered in the country (e.g. your spouse worked, whilst you took care of the children), then you will still be entitled to AOW for the period concerned. Your state pension age (the age at which your state pension starts) depends on your year of birth and lies somewhere between your 65th and 67th year. Your can calculate your exact state pension age at www.checkuwaowleeftijd.nl.
Voluntary AOW insurance
If you live and /or work outside the Netherlands then you’ll not normally automatically contribute to your AOW, unless you have received a secondment statement from your Dutch employer. If you don’t benefit from such a statement, don’t work for a Dutch employer, or are self-employed, then you may take out a “voluntary insurance” that enables you to continue to make contributions to your AOW post emigration or during an expat stint abroad. This can cost up to 400 euros per month, depending on your age and income. You can calculate your precise voluntary contribution at the SVB website. Don’t forget that you’ll also build up a state pension in your new country of residence, so bear that in mind when taking out AOW voluntary insurance.
Emigrating after your AOW start date
Of course, you’re also entitled to your Dutch state pension if you emigrate after your pension start date. Just how much AOW you’ll receive will, however, depend on where you choose to live – you won’t be entitled to a supplementary singles allowance if your partner has not yet reached retirement age for example in many countries outside the European Union. More information can be found on the SVB website.
Paying tax on your AOW
The Dutch state pension amounts mentioned above are gross, which means that you must still pay tax over them. Where you pay that tax depends on the tax agreements in place between the Netherlands and your new country of residence. You can check what agreements are in place in this handy treaty overview.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?