For employees (EU and non-EU nationals) in the Netherlands, it is their employer’s responsibility to ensure the necessary formalities have been completed and that their staff are properly covered for social security. The employer pays the majority of contributions (which include unemployment or disability benefit), but the employee also pays a portion (which is deducted directly from their salary).
There is a maximum income level above which no contributions are levied and maximum amount which can be deducted – these amounts are adjusted each year. The tax office collects contributions for national insurance schemes and again the amount is income-driven with an upper limit.
Self-employed people must obtain a declaration. Those who are already self-employed can get this declaration from their local tax office. If not, they should visit their nearest tax office in the Netherlands to obtain one. A separate declaration must be made for each type of business a person is involved in. The tax office will then set things up for the tax return (usually annual). There are tax-free allowances and various expenses which can be reclaimed. The tax office also sets the level of National Insurance contributions.
There are limited government schemes for the self-employed but on the whole a self-employed person must take responsibility for securing private health insurance (and insurance against disability). For example, there is little or no state help for self-employed women who want to take maternity leave.
Not all the benefits which are currently paid in another EU state will continue under reciprocal arrangements. Anyone wishing to have these benefits paid while in the Netherlands should make their own enquiries well in advance of departure.
EU and non-EU residents with children can apply for child benefit (Algemene Kinderbijslagwet – AKW) from the Dutch Social Insurance Information Centre (Sociale Verzekeringsbank – SVB). Qualification depends on the age and personal situation of each child and is not guaranteed.
The SVB is also responsible for administering bereavement benefits (Algemene Nabestaandenwet – ANW) and carer’s allowance (TOG).
Anyone wishing to have their pension paid in the Netherlands should visit the SVB. Anyone working or living in the Netherlands will accumulate some rights to the old age pension (Algemene Ouderdomswet – AOW) but the amount may be very small if limited time has been spent in the country.
EEA regulations allow EU residents to combine contributions paid in two or more EEA countries in order to qualify for a state pension.
Claiming and Payment of Benefits
When claiming any benefits the following will be needed:
A valid identity document (passport)
A BSN number
Employees who need to claim due to incapacity or unemployment benefit must contact their employer’s professional association who will make payment direct. In the event, of illness employers are usually bound to pay 70 percent of wages for at least the first 12 months.
The SVB will make payments of state pensions, family allowances and other benefits.
Any Social Welfare benefits awarded are paid by the municipal authority in your area or in larger cities by a separate social services department.