In September 2008 118 thousand people were claiming a benefit under the National Survivor’s Benefits Act (Algemene nabestaandenwet). This is 8 thousand fewer than twelve months previously. The number of benefits under this act has been falling by an average 600 a month for 12 years now. One of the reasons for this decrease are the strict requirements. The National Survivor’s Benefits Act replaced the General Widows and Orphans Act in 1996.
Fewer and fewer benefits
Sixty percent of new benefits under the National Survivor’s Benefits Act are claimed by people aged 55 to 64 years. Most of these people were born before 1950. Everyone born before 1 January 1950 is entitled to this benefit. As this age group is decreasing in size, however, the number of new cases is steadily dropping. In 2005, for example, more than one thousand new benefits per month were claimed, three years later this has dropped to only 870 per month.
Of the people who stop receiving benefits under the National Survivor’s Benefits Act, 72 percent stop because they reach retirement age. These people are then eligible for Old Age Pension and no longer entitled to benefits under the National Survivor’s Benefits Act.
Benefits under the National Survivor’s Benefits Act
Only few half-orphan and orphan benefits
Only few of the benefits under the National Survivor’s Benefits Act are benefits for half-orphans and orphans. These benefits, paid to children under 18 years of age, account for 12 and 1 percent respectively of benefits under this act. Only 17 percent of all benefits are paid to people aged under 55 years. By far most survivors, 77 percent are women.
Benefits by type, September 2008
Large regional differences
Claimants of benefits under the National Survivor’s Benefits Act are not distributed evenly across the country. Relatively fewer claimants live in the Randstad in the west of the country than in the more rural areas, while relatively many claimants live in the north and south of the Netherlands. This may be connected with the older populations in the latter areas and the age of the average claimants of National Survivor’s Benefits Act.
Benefits per 1,000 inhabitants by region