AOV (Old Age Pension)
AOV stands for “Algemene Ouderdomsverzekering”. It is a general insurance, based on the principle of solidarity, which guarantees a basic pension to those who have reached retirement age.
Solidarity principle means that:
- Anyone who enjoys an income in the (former) Netherlands Antilles must pay AOV Premium.
- Everyone who has lived in the (former) Netherlands Antilles is entitled to AOV benefits regardless of nationality or employment status.
- Anyone who has been insured for AOV and has reached the pensionable age, is entitled to receive AOV.
- You are insured when you lived registered in the (former) Netherlands Antilles and/or were declaring income tax in the (former) Netherlands Antilles.
As a result of 10-10-10 every island of the former Netherlands Antilles has to pay only for the portion of pension equivalent to the years build up on that specific island.
- The AOV benefit is granted upon application.
- The benefit amount depends on the number of years that you have been a resident of the (former) Netherlands Antilles before reaching the retirement age. It is NOT based on the years employed or the amount of years you paid AOV premium (tax).
- Everybody’s pension amount is different!
- If you start collecting AOV pension you can continue working.
- SZV will only be paying for the years that were build up on the island of St. Maarten. If you have lived on one of the other islands of the former Netherlands Antilles, you will have to also apply for your pension over there.
AOV pensionable age
- All who is born before 1958 can apply at 60 years.
- All who is born in 1958, 1959 and in 1960 until and including June 30th can apply at 62 years.
- All who is born as of July 1st 1960 and up can apply at 65 years.
We advise to apply 6 months in advance of reaching pensionable age as this is a lengthy process.
- After applying SZV will contact you within 3 to 6 months if there are any questions about your application.
- If there are no questions, your decision letter will be sent to your mailing address.
- SZV will deposit your AOV allowance monthly on your bank account.
- (If you are living abroad) After your pension is granted you will have to send a Life Certificate to receive payment. SZV will deposit your AOV allowance monthly on your bank account after receiving your Life Certificate in the appointed periods.
- You should read your decision letter as quick as possible as there may be instructions in it.
- In case the AOV is paid abroad, the associated costs of transfer will be deducted by the bank from your pension benefit.
- To avoid your pension being blocked: you must make sure to inform SZV immediately if there any changes in your personal information, circumstances, or banking information. You can use the pension mutation form for this purpose.
- If you are living abroad, please make sure to submit your Life Certificate in the periods stipulated in your decision letter to ensure continuation of your monthly pension benefit payments.
- By Law, if you are residing on St. Maarten and married, your marriage must be registered at SXM Civil Registry.
- The right to the AOV pension starts on the first day of the month after reaching the pensionable age. If one should apply for the AOV pension benefits more than 1 year after reaching the pensionable age, the AOV pension benefits will be granted retroactively by SZV with a maximum of 1 year counting from the month after the date on which the application was submitted.
- Once a pension has been granted if you do not collect your AOV pension within two (2) years from the first day that you are entitled to collect this pension, it will expire. Your right to collect the Christmas bonus expires after six (6) months.
How does someone build up insured years?
1. Being a resident, registered at the Census office and living on Sint Maarten, between their 15th year and pensionable age (60, 62 or 65 years)
2. Nonresident but being assessed for income tax as a resident of Sint Maarten. E.g. people registered and living on the French side but working on the Dutch side and filing their income tax on the Dutch side do build up insured years.
When can I expect my old age pension to be paid?
By Law, the first of every month.
Can someone continue working after the pensionable age?
Yes, however, it is important to know that the AOV premium must not be withheld from your monthly wages in that case. If AOV premium is still withheld by your employer, you should be refunded the amount of premium paid upon submitting your income tax return.
When does an AOV pensioner receive a Christmas bonus?
All pensioners who have a right to AOV pension benefits by the 1st of September of each calendar year are entitled to a Christmas bonus. The Christmas bonus is paid together with the pension for the month of December.
For new pensioners: if you reach the pensionable age before the September 1st, you are entitled to receive the Christmas bonus for the first time in December of that year. If you reach the pensionable age on or after September 1st, you will be entitled to receive the Christmas bonus for the first time in December of the calendar year thereafter.
Who is entitled to unclaimed AOV pension amounts?
If for any reason there are any unclaimed AOV pension amounts after a pensioner passes away, the heirs of the deceased pensioner can claim these funds (if applicable). Application should be done within six months after the passing of the pensioner. Click here for Lump Sum After Passing for more information.
When will a deduction be applied on your AOV benefit?
The full old-age pension benefit is based on a period of 45 insured years. For each year that you haven’t been insured in that period (for example, because you didn’t reside on St. Maarten or you didn’t declare income taxes), a deduction will be applied on your AOV-pension benefit.
Because the AOV insurance started on September 1, 1960, there will be people who won’t be able to build a full/maximum benefit. These missing years will be counted as insured years under three conditions:
- Dutch nationality and,
- Residence in St. Maarten and,
- Living in St. Maarten for 6 years after the age of 54.
If you receive AOV benefits, what percentage is deducted for the AVBZ premium?
If you live on St. Maarten, you must pay the AVBZ premium in the amount of 1% of your AOV-pension. If you live outside of Sint Maarten, no AVBZ premium will be deducted from your AOV-pension.
What is a Life Certificate?
A life certificate is a legal document signed and validated by an authorized person stating that this person is alive. SZV accepts as authorized persons: Justices of Peace, a Notary Public, a Civil Law Notary, the Dutch Embassy, the Civil Registry of one of the other countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and SVB offices in Aruba, Curaçao and BES.
What are the AOV maximum amounts for the year?
Please see our website here for the maximum pension amounts for the current year.