Here you can find information about the different pension models that are available if you live in Germany and work in the Netherlands.

Old-age pension

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The AOW pension (AOW stands for: Allgemeines Altersgesetz [General Old Age Act] is a basic benefit for senior citizens over 67. The amount of your AOW pension depends on your living situation and the number of years you have been insured under the AOW model. An AOW pension is paid if you have been insured for at least 12 months.

In the Netherlands, employees usually build up two different types of pension:

  • the state pension (AOW), regardless of your income
  • the occupational pension, which depends on income
  • Self-employed people only build up the AOW

The amount of the AOW depends on

  • your housing situation
  • the number of years you have been insured (in the Netherlands)

For every year you were insured in the Netherlands, you will be entitled to an AOW pension equal to 2% of the basic AOW pension. The 50 years before your AOW pensionable age will be taken into account.

If you have accumulated the full 50 years of AOW, you will get the full 100% of the AOW amount applicable at that time. If you only worked 8 years in the Netherlands, you will get an AOW pension for those years of 8 x 2% = 16% of the basic amount for your situation.

When do I start my retirement?

The AOW pensionable age will be raised to 67 by 2024. From 2025, it will be linked to life expectancy. Check annually in January to see if your AOW retirement age is fixed. Your AOW entry age is set 5 years before you reach it
to find out your retirement age.

Caution: Partners are not entitled to AOW pension. However, it is possible for them to build up an AOW pension voluntarily (subject to contributions!).

Have you lived or worked in the Netherlands in the past? If so, you will be able to get an AOW pension when you reach the AOW retirement age (i.e. the Dutch retirement age). This also applies if you live in another country. You can find very good information on the SVB website.

Reduced earning capacity pension

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You are also insured against invalidity, accidents at work and occupational diseases in the Netherlands. However, there is no employers’ liability insurance association and no separate compulsory insurance for accidents at work and occupational diseases.

Instead, the Netherlands has a law that regulates loss of earnings in the event of invalidity, incapacity for work or occupational disability: WIA.

Under this law, all employees who are totally or partially incapacitated for work for more than two years (from 35% incapacity for work) are insured. The two-year period is thus followed by a wage replacement benefit.

Two different benefits fall under the WIA:

  • IVA benefits

    • in the event of permanent incapacity for work
    • 75% of the old gross wage (up to the statutory retirement age of the AOW)
  • WGA benefits

    • For temporary or partial
      incapacity for work
    • The amount and duration of the benefit depend on the degree of incapacity, earnings and age

The responsible authority for WIA is the UWV (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen [Employee Insurance Agency]). The employer pays the contributions for the WIA insurance, sometimes with a small share for the employee.

If the person with reduced earning capacity has worked in several countries, there may be partial entitlements in all these countries. If this could be your case, contact a GrenzInfoPunkt near you early on!

Further information

The SVB’s Bureau voor Duitse Zaken has a detailed brochure that gives information about your reduced earning capacity benefit rights in the Netherlands and Germany. You can download this brochure here.

Survivor benefit

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In the Netherlands, there is a statutory survivor benefit (ANW) for partners and orphans.

However, there is only an entitlement in these cases:

For partners

  • If they have lived permanently with the deceased (marriage is not a requirement) and have at least one minor child
  • are incapacitated for work.

Entitlement to ANW ends when you reach the statutory retirement age for AOW or when the youngest child is 18.

For children

  • if they are orphans

An orphan’s pension can be paid until the child reaches the age of 21.

The ANW is administered by the XXXX SVB, while occupational pensions are administered by pension funds and insurance companies.

Some occupational pension schemes also include a survivor’s benefit or other survivor insurance. Check with your employer or pension insurance provider.

Occupational pension

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In the Netherlands, all employees usually pay into an occupational pension. Most collective agreements include an obligation to do so. Since the state pension (AOW) only covers about 40% of the average wage, occupational pensions are very important in the Netherlands.

In most cases, your employer pays part of your pension contribution, sometimes even the full contribution rate. Dutch occupational pension schemes (there are about 700) are run by occupational pension funds.

Composition of an occupational pension


A retirement pension (ouderdomspensioen [old-age pension])


A survivor’s benefit (nabestaandenpensioen [survivor’s pension])


A reduced earnings capacity pension (arbeidsongeschiktheidsuitkering [disability benefit])

The employer is not obliged to guarantee an additional occupational pension for his employees if there is no occupational pension scheme in his branch of business.

The pension fund undertakes to send you a pension letter every year (UPO: Uniform Pension Waiver) every year. This states which pension rights you are entitled to and which you can pay into. If you are no longer actively paying in, you will receive this overview every 5 years.

You have to apply for your Dutch occupational pension yourself (unlike your AOW basic pension). If you separate from your partner, it can be decided when you get divorced that the other person will get a partial entitlement to the occupational pension.

The retirement date of the occupational pension is relatively flexible (unlike with AOW)

Contributions paid by you are fully tax deductible

For information on the amount of your pension entitlement and from when you can claim it, it is best to contact the relevant occupational pension fund.

You can also get an initial overview at