Dutch pension: your comprehensive guide to retirement in the Netherlands

Comprehensive guide to retirement in the Netherlands - featured image

Pensions are an essential aspect of financial planning and security. Even though the Netherlands has a comprehensive pension system, it can be a confusing one. In this article, we will explain the types of pensions, the requirements, as well as the various factors and benefits of the Dutch retirement scheme.

Types of pensions

In the Netherlands, there are three types of pensions: state pensions, occupational pensions, and personal pensions.

State pensions (AOW – Algemene Ouderdomswet) are provided by the government and are based on the number of years a person has lived and worked in the Netherlands regardless of their nationality.

Occupational/supplementary pensions are provided by employers and are typically part of a collective labor agreement. They are usually based on a percentage of a person’s salary and are paid out upon retirement.

Personal pensions are individual pension plans that are self-funded. This type is popular among employees in industries with no collective pension funds, and self-employed. They provide individuals with greater control over their retirement savings and can be used to supplement state and occupational pensions.

How much state pension (AOW) will you receive?

The pension amount an individual receives in the Netherlands depends on various factors such as the number of years spent in the workforce and the level of income earned during one’s working years. In 2024, the full AOW pension rate (with tax credit) is €1,541.53 gross per month for people living alone and €1,047.60 for couples. Moreover, for every year you were insured, you accumulate 2% of the maximum AOW pension. Therefore, to receive the full amount you need to live and work in the Netherlands for 50 years.

If you do not qualify for a complete AOW pension, you can visit My SVB to view the amount you are eligible to receive. Bear in mind that there is a 2% deduction for every year spent abroad from the age of 15 to the moment of retirement.

Retirement age

The retirement age in the Netherlands is gradually increasing. For individuals born after 30 September 1961, the precise age at which they will be eligible for the AOW pension is currently unknown. However, it is guaranteed to be at least 67 years and 3 months.


One of the unique aspects of the Dutch pension system is its flexibility. Workers have the option to opt for early or delayed retirement, and their pension payments will be modified accordingly. Furthermore, individuals can also choose to receive their pension payments in a lump sum or as regular payments. Personal pensions offer even greater flexibility, allowing individuals to choose their level of contributions and investment options.


While the Dutch pension system is comprehensive, it does face some challenges. One of the primary concerns is the increasing life expectancy of the population, which puts pressure on the pension system to provide benefits for longer periods. There are also concerns about the sustainability of the system, particularly as the number of retirees increases and the number of workers decreases.

At a glance

The Dutch pension system is a comprehensive and well-regarded system that provides individuals with financial security in retirement. With state pensions, occupational pensions, and personal pensions available, individuals have a range of options to choose from. While the system does face challenges, the Dutch government is committed to ensuring its sustainability for future generations.

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