Am I required to notify the Pension Fund?
If you reside in the Netherlands, the Pension Fund is automatically notified of changes in your relationship from the municipality where you live. This is also the case if you divorce.
There are situations however, in which the municipality does not notify the Pension Fund about changes in your relationship. For example, if you live abroad and you divorce. Or if you are no longer cohabiting with your enrolled partner.
That is why it is nevertheless useful to notify the Pension Fund yourself about changes in your personal circumstances.
Will my pension change?
In the case of divorce, judicial separation or termination of a registered partnership, your former partner is also entitled to a share of the retirement pension. This is realized pursuant to the Pension Settlement (Divorce) Act (Wet verevening pensioenrechten bij scheiding). Under the Act, the former partner is eligible for half of the retirement pension that was accrued during the period of the marriage.
However, you may have expressly elected not to apply the Pension Settlement (Divorce) Act in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or in a separation or divorce agreement, or you may have agreed a different distribution of assets.
If you are cohabiting with an enrolled partner and decide to separate, your former partner has nostatutory right to part of your retirement pension.
If the Pension Settlement (Divorce) Act is applicable, your retirement pension will be lower in the event that your relationship is terminated. In that case, it will be reduced by the share of the retirement pension to which your former partner is entitled according to the law or according to the agreed settlement.
If the retirement pension is to be shared, the Pension Fund pays the respective shares of the retirement pension directly to the former partners from the separation date. The Pension Fund must therefore receive notification of this settlement.
A statutory (Dutch only) form from the Ministry of Justice titled: 'Mededeling van scheiding in verband met verdeling van ouderdomspensioen' (Announcement of divorce in regards to apportionment of retirement pension) is available to that end. Your ex-partner is required to complete and submit this form to the Pension Fund. You can download a copy of this form via the link below.
In addition, the Ministry of Justice has published a (Dutch only) brochure on this subject titled‘Verdeling van ouderdomspensioen bij echtscheiding’ (Apportionment of retirement pension in the event of divorce). This brochure is available via the link below.
You can also obtain the brochure and the form that your ex-partner is required by law to complete from the website of the 'Rijksoverheid' (National Government), please enter the search words "verdeling ouderdomspensioen".
What happens with the partner’s pension?
If an entitlement to partner’s pension exists and you decide to separate, your former partner will retain his/her entitlement to this partner's pension. That entitlement is referred to as a 'special partner’s pension'. It makes no difference whether the relationship was a marriage, a registered partnership or a partnership enrolled with the Pension Fund.
Should your former partner be entitled to a special partner’s pension, this will have no effect on your retirement pension.
If no entitlement to partner’s pension exists, your former partner will not be entitled to a special partner’s pension when your relationship ends.
The personal pension summary indicates whether any entitlement to partner’s pension exists. You receive the pension summary in July of each year.
When does the special partner’s pension commence?
In the event of your predecease, payment of the (possibly apportioned) retirement pension will end and the payment of the special partner’s pension commences. This will not apply if the partners have mutually excluded each other from the entitlement to a special partner’s pension, or if they have agreed to waive their right to the special partner’s pension.