Baby boom generation accounts for rapid growth AOW benefits

23/06/2011 15:00

By the end of April this year, 2.9 million benefits were granted in the Netherlands under the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW), an increase by nearly 14 thousand relative to March 2011. The sharp increase shows that the first post-war baby boomers have reached the age of 65. 

First baby boomers eligible for AOW

In March and April 2011, the increase in AOW benefits was much more substantial than in the preceding months. The first baby boomers – people born shortly after the Second World War – have received AOW since March. The monthly increase over the period May 2010 - February 2011 averaged 5 thousand benefits, so the increase in March and April is more than two and a half times as high. The generation from 1946 is the largest to date born in the Netherlands. On 1 January this year, 234 thousand of them were still alive.

New AOW benefits

New AOW benefits

Population ageing process manifest in AOW

The number of AOW benefits has risen for years. Since April 2007, the number of benefits has increased by more than 300 thousand. In April this year, 1.6 million AOW recipients are in the age category 65-75. Proportionally, the number of AOW recipients is growing faster in the age categories 85-95 and 95 years and older as life expectancy in the Netherlands continues to improve.

AOW benefits by age category

AOW benefits by age category

Number of male AOW recipients growing

In April, 55 percent of AOW benefits were granted to women. Within four years, the number of female AOW recipients has risen by 9 percent to more than 1.6 million; the number of male AOW recipients has risen by 14 percent to 1.3 million over the same period. The stronger growth in men is due to the higher life expectancy for men.

AOW benefits by gender

AOW benefits by gender

Geessiena Lycklama à Nijeholt