Voluntary insurance under the AOW pension scheme

If you live or work outside the Netherlands, you will probably not be building up an AOW pension. You will receive less AOW pension for each year that you are not insured. If you meet the conditions, you can avoid this by taking out voluntary insurance with the Social Insurance Bank (SVB).


To take out voluntary AOW insurance, you must meet the following conditions:

  • you must apply for the insurance before you leave the Netherlands or within one year after you leave;
  • you must have been insured under the AOW scheme for at least one full year;
  • you must not have reached your AOW pension age.

Length of voluntary insurance

You, your partner and children can take out voluntary insurance for up to 10 years, but there are exceptions.

More than 10 years’ voluntary insurance

You can voluntarily insure yourself for more than 10 years if you meet the following conditions:

  • you are older than 50 when you first take out voluntary insurance;
  • you live outside the Netherlands;
  • you receive a statutory benefit from the Netherlands that is higher than 35% of the gross minimum wage.

You can also insure yourself for more than 10 years if you work for:

  • the Dutch government or another Dutch institution that performs government tasks;
  • a development cooperation organisation such as War Child Nederland or Oxfam Novib that is approved by the Dutch government;
  • an international organisation such as the United Nations or NATO;
  • the Dutch central government and it pays you for your work.

Less than 10 years’ voluntary insurance

Voluntary insurance will stop in less than 10 years if, for instance, you reach AOW pension age or return to the Netherlands.


Voluntary AOW insurance is not free. You have to pay insurance contributions. The contributions are a percentage of your annual income. The Dutch government sets the percentage and the minimum and maximum contributions every year.

Apply for an offer

If you meet the conditions and would like to take out voluntary insurance, apply to the SVB for an offer.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.