There are actually two Dutch Social Security Systems. The first is applicable to the population of the Netherlands in general: National Insurance. The other, Employee Insurance, applies only to those who work in the Netherlands. Read on to find examples and explanations of what both systems do. Depending on where you come from, Dutch social security might not apply to you at all. Our article will help clarify this too!
National Insurance Schemes in NL
In Dutch, National Insurance schemes are called ‘volksverzekeringen‘. In principle, they cover all persons living or working in the Netherlands.
Here are some examples of Dutch national insurance schemes, and what they mean for those who are covered by them:
- General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW): Entitlement to an old age pension. It will be paid to residents of the Netherlands when they reach the age of 65+
- General Surviving Relatives Act (ANW): Entitlement to benefits payments for widows, widowers or ‘dependent children’, depending on their income
- Long-Term Care Act (WLZ): Financial support for those who need intensive care or supervision, 24/7
- The Health Insurance Act (ZVW): This act declares that everyone who legally resides in the Netherlands, and is subject to the Dutch social security system, is obligated to have health insurance
- Child Benefit Act (AKW – Kinderbijslag): Entitlement to benefit payments for parents who have children under the age of 18
Please note that contributions for the national insurance schemes are levied on incomes of up to approximately 33,791 euros a year.
Employee Insurance Schemes in NL
Technically, it is compulsory for anyone employed in the Netherlands to be insured under the Dutch Employee Insurance Schemes. These are referred to as ‘werknemersverzekeringen‘ in the Netherlands.
Here are some of the major employee insurance schemes, and what they do for those who are insured under them:
- Sickness Benefits Act (ZW): Based on this act, an employer is obligated to continue paying his or her employee a percentage of his or her salary, for the first 104 weeks of sickness
- Work and Income According to Labor Capacity Act (WIA): This act was created for those who have been disabled and out of work for more than 104 weeks. It is intended to investigate and calculate an employee’s ‘ability’ to work. The benefit they receive will depend on whether they are deemed to be fully, partially, permanently or temporarily disabled, according to the enquiry carried out under this act
- Disability Insurance Act (WAO): Under this act, employees who are below the pensionable age are entitled to a benefit. They can receive it if they are still at least 15% unfit for work after 52 weeks of being disabled. The amount of the benefit depends on the degree of disability, the last-earned wage and the age of the employee
- Unemployment Insurance Act (WW): Having the insurance this act offers, protects residents of NL against the financial consequences of unemployment
Contributions for Dutch employee insurance schemes are levied by the Dutch tax department.
Exemption from Dutch Social Security
Under certain circumstances, expats who reside in the Netherlands will not be subject to a Dutch social security system. You are usually not subject to legislation if you:
- Have been posted to the Netherlands from another EU or EEA (European Economic Area) member state, or Switzerland
- Plan to work in the Netherlands for less than six months
However, Dutch social security may still apply to you, if you carry out your work in the Netherlands, and your income is subject to Dutch wage tax.
So, if Dutch social security legislation does not apply to you, which social security legislation will you be under when you come to the Netherlands?
An entirely separate set of rules applies to continued coverage of the social insurance systems of other EU and EEA countries, and Switzerland. For detailed information about this, we recommend that you contact the Dutch Tax authorities.
Social Security Treaties
Check out our page on Social Security Regulation in NL for a more detailed discussion on this matter. For now, here are the bullet points:
If the Netherlands has entered into a social security treaty with the country from which you have been posted, said treaty will determine which social security legislation applies to you.
- You will probably continue to be covered by the social security system of the country from which you have been posted, if you are only in the Netherlands temporarily
- Generally, it is not possible to obtain an exemption from the Dutch social security system, if you have been posted from a country with which the Netherlands has not entered into a social security treaty
The Supplemental Benefits Act
- If the total of your benefits and family income amounts to less than a certain sum, you can apply for a financial supplement
- Your supplement will be bestowed under the Supplemental Benefits Act, which is called the ‘Toeslagenwet‘ in Dutch
- Contact the Dutch Social Security Institution to see if you qualify for this benefit, and to make arrangements
- The benefit is intended specifically to help finance rent, health care insurance premiums, daycare for children of working parents and general expenses related to the having of children
- Sociale Verzekeringsbank: The Social Insurance bank in the Netherlands (SVB). The SVB manage Dutch National Insurance Schemes, and make sure residents are paid the right amount, on time
- The UWV: The Employee Insurance Agency in the Netherlands. The UWV provide expert and efficient implementation of employee insurance
- De Sociaal Economische Raad: The Social and economic Council of the Netherlands (SER)
- Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the Netherlands