Government initiates termination of social security treaty with Morocco

The government has decided to terminate the Netherlands' social security treaty with Morocco. This decision was prompted by the failure of negotiations with Morocco on amending the treaty in line with changes to the Dutch social security system. In June, for example, the Dutch Senate passed a bill to stop the payment of child benefit and child budget to recipients in countries outside the EU. The Netherlands is also holding talks with other countries to amend treaties in this area.

The termination of the treaty will put an end to new benefit payments to recipients in Morocco and pave the way for ending worldwide cover under the Healthcare Insurance Act for people staying there temporarily, although entitlements under the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW) will remain unchanged. The government aims to terminate the treaty with effect from 1 January 2016, giving those affected time to adjust to the new rules. Termination of the treaty will also mean the end of the arrangements for checking the assets of people on social assistance benefits.

The cabinet has given its approval for a bill to terminate the treaty to be put before the House of Representatives. In so doing it is implementing a motion adopted by the House of Representatives requesting the government to terminate the treaty.

The government sets great store by good relations with Morocco and tried to amend the treaty through negotiation, thereby avoiding the need to terminate it. Although it has proved impossible to reach agreement on this matter, Morocco remains an important partner with which the Netherlands has an excellent working relationship in many different areas.

Existing benefit recipients at the time the treaty ceases to have effect will retain their entitlements, with the exception of child benefit and child budget. Payments of child benefit and child budget to all recipients in Morocco will end six months after the termination of the treaty. Entitlements under the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW) will not be affected.