At the end of January 2013, more than 3.1 million old age pensions were paid, i.e. nearly 12 thousand down from December 2012. On 1 January 2013, the AOW entitlement age was raised by one month.
Reaching 65 in January but not yet entitled to AOW
Last year, the number of people eligible to AOW grew by 20 thousand each month. They were mainly people who had reached their 65th birthday. On 1 January 2013, the eligibility age was raised to 65 years and one month. As a result, people who had turned 65 in January did not yet receive a benefit under the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW).
Yet, the number of new old age pensioners increased by more than 1,300. They were people who had already reached the age of 65, but whose benefits were not paid until January 2013. Many of these AOW applicants were living abroad.
Decline only in January
As the number of new claimants grew by 1,300 and 13 thousand AOW benefits were terminated, the total number fell by nearly 12 thousand. In 2012, the number of AOW claimants still rose by nearly 10 thousand each month. On 1 January 2014, the AOW entitlement age will be raised to 65 years and two months. This change will have more or less the same effect as in January 2013.
Total amount paid in AOW benefits also down
Because the number of AOW benefits declined, the total amount granted was also lower. In January 2013, the total amount paid in AOW benefits was reduced by approximately 15 million euros relative to December 2012. The reduction is permanent: each month there is a group of pensioners who retire one month later than they would have prior to the legislation change. As from 1 January 2014, only people aged 65 years and two months are entitled to AOW. The total amount paid in AOW benefits was 2.6 billion euros in January 2013.
Total amount paid in AOW benefits