No cut in state pension for victims of war

Recognised victims of war will not have their old age state pension (AOW) cut, regardless of where they live. The cabinet approved this measure following a proposal by State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment Jetta Klijnsma.

In the Netherlands, AOW payments differ depending on the recipient's marital status. Single persons are paid 70% of the minimum wage and married persons receive 50% of the minimum wage. People who have built up a state pension and are living abroad are also entitled to AOW benefit. For recipients living in countries with which the Netherlands has a social security treaty, the rules are the same as in the Netherlands. In non-treaty countries and territories both single and married persons are entitled to only 50% of the minimum wage.

The new bill makes an exception for recognised victims of war. In accordance with a motion submitted last year and supported by virtually the entire House of Representatives, the rules that apply to AOW recipients living in treaty countries will also apply to recognised victims of war regardless of where they live. In anticipation of the adoption of the bill, AOW payments have been made on this basis since January 2016. The government proposed the amendment in a letter to the House of Representatives on 8 December 2015.

The cabinet has decided to send the bill to the Council of State for an advisory opinion. The text of the bill and the Council of State's opinion will be published when the bill is introduced in the House of Representatives.