Social security includes all provisions that aim to alleviate the burden on households and individuals. It is assigned on the basis of a series of risks and needs, called functions. A provision can cover several functions, and benefits can be divided over several functions. For instance, a supplementary pension fund may provide old age, disablement and surviving relatives benefits.
Both public and private institutions may finance social security benefits. One example of a public institution is the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) which finances the general Old Age Pension Act (AOW). The Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioenfonds (ABP) is a private institution financing old age pensions and other benefits.