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Facts and fables about your AOW

Whether you are just starting your career or are about to retire: sooner or later you will have to deal with the AOW. The General Old Age Pensions Act is a basic pension that you receive from the government if you live and work in the Netherlands. Everyone of pensionable age receives a monthly state pension from the Social Insurance Bank (SVB). However, sometimes a lot is still unclear about the AOW. That is why we list all the important facts and explain which myths about the basic pension are incorrect. We do this on the basis of the statements below.

The amount of the AOW depends on your situation

How much AOW you receive depends, among other things, on your living situation. For example, the SVB checks whether you live together or alone. If your situation changes, this may have consequences for your AOW.

You do not always receive the full AOW amount

Sometimes you do not get the full amount. For example, if you have lived or worked outside the Netherlands for part of your life, you will receive a lower AOW amount. Sometimes you can get a supplement on your AOW: this supplementary income provision for the elderly (AIO) supplements your income up to the social minimum.

Millions of people receive an AOW benefit

According to the CBS, 2022 people received an AOW benefit in March 3.540.000.

You can earn unlimited extra in addition to your AOW

That's right: extra income in addition to your AOW has no consequences for the amount of your benefit. Read more about this in our blog earn extra during your retirement. 

You do not have to pay tax on your AOW

That is not the case. The SVB pays out your AOW every month, and deducts payroll tax from it. This is lower than for wages from work.

The state pension age is 65 years

Until 2013, this was indeed the case, but since then the state pension age has been linked to life expectancy and is increased every calendar year. It therefore depends on your date of birth. In 2022, the state pension age will be 66 years and 7 months.

On the website of the national government you will find a overview of the state pension ages.

If you receive AOW, you will also receive your pension

There is a difference between the state pension age and your actual retirement age. This used to be almost the same. Nowadays, the moment when the state old age pension starts and the moment when your retirement pension starts are further apart. This is also known as the pension gap. Whether you receive a pension depends on whether you have accrued it.

If you have lived abroad, you will not receive an AOW

If you live or work abroad, you do not always accrue state pension. For every year that you are not insured, you accrue 2 percent less AOW. The accrual therefore depends on the number of years that the AOW premium has been deducted from your salary in the Netherlands. Read more about it here the website of the National Government.

If you receive AOW, you can no longer continue to work for your current employer

Whether you can continue to work after your state pension age depends on the agreements in your collective labor agreement or employment contract. Sometimes it is possible to continue working. In some situations, your employer determines whether you may continue to work if your employment contract ends by operation of law at the state pension age.

Do you have a question about your specific situation? You will find many answers on the AOW page of the SVB.

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Want to know more?

Do you have questions about the AOW or this article? Or do you want to know more precisely what your pension situation looks like, and could you use the help of our pension experts? Feel free to contact us. Our Service Center is available every working day from 8.00 am to 18.00 pm via sc@unie.nl and 0345 851 963.