Living abroad and benefits in 2020: AOW, WW, etc

If you are going to emigrate in 2020 or are already living abroad while you also receive benefits such as AOW, WAO, Anw or Child Benefit, there are a number of things you should take into account because it is of course important to know whether you Your benefits will not be reduced because you live in another country. Possible consequences of emigration may be that your benefits are stopped or adjusted. It is also possible that this will continue temporarily.

Benefit abroad

  • The Export Benefits Restriction Act (BEU)
  • Special treaties
  • Voluntary insurance
  • Benefits and living in Morocco or Turkey
  • The Remigration Act
  • Countries with special arrangements
  • Questions about your situation?

The Export Benefits Restriction Act (BEU)

If you live or work in the Netherlands, you are insured by the social insurances that ensure that you build up an AOW pension and are eligible for other allowances or benefits such as a survivor’s benefit or child benefit. If you emigrate abroad and you are no longer working in the Netherlands – because you are going to work abroad or because you are retired or incapacitated for work – then you are no longer insured for the various social insurances and this may have consequences. for your right to receive certain benefits. If you live abroad, are you still entitled to full benefits? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. For example, it is important to know whether a restriction applies to the country to which you are emigrating. According to the Export Benefits Restriction Act (BEU), these restrictions may relate to a number of benefits, namely:

  • General Surviving Dependents Act (Anw)
  • General Old Age Pension Act (AOW)
  • Sickness Benefits Act (ZW)
  • Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (WIA)
  • Disability Insurance Act (WAO)
  • Self-Employed Disability Insurance Act (WAZ)
  • General Child Benefit Act (AKW)

If you receive an Anw, AOW, ZW, WIA, WAO, WAZ or AKW benefit or allowance and you are moving abroad or have already done so, it will be assessed whether you meet the applicable conditions. In that case, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • You live/are going to live within the European Union (EU) and/or the European Economic Community (EEC countries: Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein or Iceland);
  • You live/will live in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
  • You work/will work outside the mentioned regions in the public interest, such as in development work or in a diplomatic position;
  • You live/will work in a country with which the Netherlands has a special treaty in which different agreements have been made.

If you do not meet one of these requirements – because you are going to live in Suriname or Morocco, for example – this will result in your benefits being irrevocably stopped after three months. If you receive a different type of benefit such as Wajong or a benefit arising from the Benefits Act or the Work and Social Assistance Act, different rules apply, but usually these benefits are also not portable to a non-treaty country.

Special treaties

special treaty with most countries that allows (part of) benefits to be collected there. However, there are also countries with which there is no treaty, such as the United States, Canada, Gambia, India, Kosovo, Mali and Pakistan. Examples of countries where such treaties do exist are Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Israel, Jordan, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Mali, Botswana and Cape Verde.

Voluntary insurance

If you are going to live abroad for a longer period of time, you can voluntarily insure yourself for the AOW and Anw, so that you can continue to be entitled to this.

Benefits and living in Morocco or Turkey

Many people living outside Europe in 2020 will have to deal with the Country of Residence Principle Act . This law stipulates that a number of benefits for countries outside the European Union are based on the cost level of the country where the recipient lives. This also includes child benefit, child budget, Anw, WIA and WGA. This law also applies to people who have moved to countries such as Turkey and Morocco.

The Remigration Act

Remigration Act applies to people who return to their country of origin, which provides for two benefits: the basic provision and the remigration benefit. The basic provision concerns a one-off payment for the costs of emigration, which can generally be used to pay for transport costs, luggage transport and storage of belongings. The remigration benefit concerns a monthly subsistence allowance for people aged 45 and older. These regulations also apply to people who came to the Netherlands as refugees.

Countries with special arrangements

Special rules apply to a number of countries as a result of treaties. For example, you can often take a benefit based on the Sickness Benefits Act with you. A Maternity or Childbirth Benefit can also often be taken abroad. The largest countries to which this applies are Canada and the United States. This also applies to Pakistan, Chile, Mali and Gambia. Allowances are generally not transferable abroad. However, due to a number of special regulations, there are countries for which an exception applies. In addition to the countries mentioned above, this applies to Morocco, Tunisia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Israel, Cape Verde Islands, Brazil, New Zealand and South Korea. Benefits and allowances are therefore not stopped in the event of emigration, but it remains the case that as a result of the Country of Residence Principle Act, the amount paid out may be lower because it is tested against the cost level of the country where you live.

Questions about your situation?

Are you planning to emigrate and do you want to know what this means for your right to an (existing) benefit? It is best to contact the SVB, UWV or Central Government Information, they can then refer you to the correct agency.

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