The Dutch pension system is made up of three tiers.

  1. The first tier consists of state retirement provision (in the Netherlands called AOW). Every resident and every employee in the Netherlands accumulates AOW entitlements for each year they live or work in the Netherlands.
  2. The second tier consists of company pension provision (provided by most employers). The aim of company pension schemes is to supplement the AOW amount to a level where the final pension equals 70% of the salary. The pension provisions that you pay into a Dutch pension fund are contributed before taxation. Besides your own contribution the employer usually also contributes into the Dutch pension fund
  3. The third tier is optional and consists of personal future provisions schemes under special fiscal conditions.

Changing jobs internationally
Working in different countries often results in a lower pension, as by changing pension fund or pension system generally this has a negative influence on your pension accumulation. It depends on the fund or system that you come from and go to what the specific impact is in your situation.

What happens when I retire?
If you have saved pension with a Dutch pension insurer, at the legal retirement age (currently 67) you will start receiving periodical pension payments. If you have moved abroad, you will need to actively inform your pension provider, as the institutes need to know your whereabouts and check your eligibility. You can find your pension funds on (DigiD required). Depending on your country of residence and the applicable tax treaty it has to be determined if and where you need to pay tax on the periodical pension payments.

Transfer of foreign pension savings to the Dutch pension fund or vice versa
Because of (inter)national rules and tax restrictions, it is not easy, and sometimes not even possible, to transfer pension funds between countries. You have to check with your previous pension insurer and your new pension insurer if they can cooperate in international Value Transfer.

RESAVER is a multi-employer occupational pension solution for research organisations in Europe and their employees. It enables employees to stay with the same pension plan when moving between different countries or employers. At the moment it is not possible for employees of Dutch Universities to join RESAVER, a few Dutch research institutions have joined the scheme however. Find all the info at

Also interesting for you: gross salary & net income30% tax rule, income tax


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