National Survivor Benefits Act (Anw)

The Anw is a national insurance scheme to protect survivors from the financial consequences of the decease of a partner or parent.
Survivors are only eligible for a benefit if the deceased was insured on the date of death. In principle, everyone in the Netherlands is insured under the Anw, including people who do not live in the Netherlands as long as they work and pay income tax in the Netherlands.

Surviving partners are eligible for a benefit if they:

  • were born before 1950, or;
  • have a child younger than 18 years, or;
  • are pregnant, or;
  • are 45 percent disabled for work.

A dependent child allowance is paid to a parent or guardian who cares for a child who has lost a parent. The allowance paid to a surviving partner who receives a benefit him/herself is not counted as a separate dependent child allowance.
The orphan’s benefit is paid to the orphan him/herself.

The Anw came into effect on 1 July 1996 and replaced the General Widows and Orphans Act (AWW). The main difference between the two schemes is that under the Anw married and cohabiting couples have the same rights.

The amount of benefits paid to surviving partners under the Anw depends on their income. Income from labour (e.g. wages) are deducted in part. Employment-related income (e.g. unemployment benefit)  is deducted in full from the benefit. The amount of income from labour disregarded in the benefit to be received is 50 percent of the gross minimum wage, plus one third of what remains when this has been subtracted. If the income is higher than a predetermined maximum per month, the claimant is not eligible for an Anw benefit. This income level also applies to people born before 1950.