Part of Dutch social benefits are granted to people living outside the Netherlands. Most of these benefits (10 percent) are paid under the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW). Popular countries of residence among Dutch pensioners are Belgium, Spain and Germany.
Many AOW and Anw benefits go to people living abroad
Some 10 percent of all Dutch pensioners – approximately 300 thousand people – do not live in the Netherlands. Nearly 54 thousand child allowances go to Dutch nationals living elsewhere. They come in second place, although this is only 3 percent of the total number of child allowances. Nearly 8 percent of benefit recipients under the General Surviving Relatives Act (Anw) are living abroad, but the number of people involved is much smaller (6.5 thousand).
Few disability and unemployment benefits granted to people living abroad
By the end of 2011, approximately 19 thousand (one in forty) disability benefits are granted to people living abroad. The Income Provision Act for Disabled Young People (Wajong) shows a different picture: only 400 of the 216 thousand benefits are granted abroad, because only in exceptional cases people living abroad are entitled to a Wajong benefit. Only 140 unemployment (WW) benefits are paid to Dutch nationals living elsewhere. The number of sickness benefits going to recipients abroad is also very modest (nearly 600).
Social benefits granted abroad by the end of 2011
One third of AOW recipients abroad live just across the border
One third of AOW benefit recipients abroad are living just across the border in Belgium or Germany. The numbers involved are 61 thousand and 39 thousand respectively. With 46 thousand AOW benefits, Spain occupies a position between Belgium and Germany.
Turkey and Morocco account for 21 thousand and 12 thousand AOW benefits respectively. Together, the United States and Canada account for 33 thousand benefits.
Top 10 countries AOW benefits by the end of 2011
Increase in AOW benefits abroad
During the period 2006-2011, the number of AOW benefits paid abroad has risen by 27 percent. Numbers are rising in all countries on the top 10 list. France stands out with a 44 percent increase in five years. The increase in the United Kingdom, Turkey, Morocco and Germany is also above average. In the United States and Canada, the increase in the number of people entitled to AOW is relatively small (12 and 17 percent respectively).
Increase in AOW benefits abroad, 2006-2011