At the end of January this year, 2.6 million people received old age pensions (AOW). One in eleven AOW payments go to people living abroad.
Number of recipients grows faster due to ageing of the population
The increase rate of AOW benefits has risen over the last decade. In the period 1997-2000, the number of recipients increased by 28 thousand annually. Since 2004, the number of over-65s entitled to AOW increased by more than 50 thousand annually.
AOW recipients, 31 December
Many AOW recipients live in Belgium and Spain
By the end of January this year, 9 percent of AOW recipients lived abroad. Most of them were living in Belgium, Spain and Germany. Between 10 and 20 thousand AOW benefits are transferred to beneficiaries living in Turkey, the United States, Canada and Australia each month; 94 percent of people living abroad are only entitled to partial AOW benefits.
AOW recipients by country of residence, January 2007
8 percent receive partial benefits
In the Netherlands, 8 percent of over-65s received partial benefits. The main reason for lacking full entitlement is that people who lived abroad in the past did not built up entitlement to AOW in those years. The number of partial AOW benefits is anticipated to grow further. At the end of 2004, partial AOW entitlement applied to 13 percent of the population in the 15-65 age bracket.
Partial entitlement much more often applies to people with foreign background
People with a non-western foreign background living in the Netherlands are much more often only partially entitled to AOW than native Dutch people. More than 85 percent of Surinamese, Antillean and Aruban AOW recipients were only entitled to a partial benefit at the end of January 2007. Among over-65 Turks and Moroccans, nearly all entitlements were partial.
They mainly belong to the first generation, who came to work in the Netherlands later in life and only then began to build up AOW entitlement. If the household income – AOW plus pension from former employer(s) – is below the social security level, people are entitled to income support. Last year, 27 thousand over-65s received income support.
Partial AOW benefits by country of origin, January 2007
Djaentie Bajnath and Harrie Hartman