Social security

Working in Europe | Unemployment | Netherlands

Social Security

The Netherlands knows an extended social security system, which provides financial security when ones income is effected by events such as health hazards, job loss or old age. Here you can find information on the different social insurance schemes, whether you are covered by them and whether you are paying money for them.

  1. National Insurance Schemes
  2. Employee Insurance Schemes
  3. Other social provisions (including allowances)

Dutch peculiarity of social security system

In the Netherlands there is a division within the social security system between the general national insurance schemes and the income related employee insurance schemes. Furthermore there are several other social provisions which might be relevant for you. Whether or not you fall within any one of these schemes depends on your situation. Here you can read more about each scheme.

1. National insurance schemes

Events which are non-work related but which can effect one’s income, are covered under national insurance schemes. Every Dutch resident and nearly all foreign employees employed in the Netherlands are covered by these National Insurance Schemes. However, if you do research on a stipend, you might not fall under these schemes.

There is a scheme for:

  • State pension (AOW)
  • Surviving dependents (ANW) - which provides for widows, widowers and dependent children who have lost one or both parents (SVB)
  • Expenses for raising children - Child benefit (AKW)
  • Healthcare (Zvw)
  • Exceptional medical expenses (Wlz)
  • Social assistance against poverty (WWB)

Payment: These insurances are paid from the social security contributions. However, when you do not have any income, and you are a resident, you still will be covered for these schemes.

Only when you live in the Netherlands temporarily and are not working here as an employee, you will not participate in these national insurance schemes.

2. Employee Insurance Schemes

Events which are work related and which can effect one’s income, are covered under employee insurance schemes. Nearly all Dutch employees will be covered by these Employee Insurance Schemes. Note: you will only be covered by these schemes if you are employed. When you do research on a stipend and without an employment contract, you are not taking part in these employee insurance schemes.

These schemes provide cover for income fall due to

  • Unemployment (WW),
  • Accidents at work - occupational disability (WIA) and
  • Illness (ZW)

Payment: The employee insurance scheme contributions are paid for both by your employer and yourself. On your pay slip you can see how much of your gross salary you contribute to these schemes.

Other social provisions

Furthermore, there are many other forms of social provisions, such as the following allowances:

  1. Healthcare allowance, to compensate lower incomes for the cost of the public healthcare insurance - (healthcare allowance)
  2. Rent allowance, to compensate lower income for rent (rent allowance)
  3. Childcare allowance, to compensate for the cost of childcare facilities (childcare allowance)

We advise you to contact your employer, the HRM desk and/or your local municipality to find out if there are other social provisions that might apply to you. With the wide range of provisions available, it might be worth the effort.

Note: When you are an EU-citizen IND registration is not required, but it does help you in certain circumstances. One of these circumstances is when you want to apply for one of the allowances (EU-citizen and allowances).

Other sources of information on Dutch social security

  • Expatica - Dutch social security system explained.
  • Eurofound -This is the website of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and working Conditions.