Dividing the retirement pension

In the event of a divorce, in principle both ex-partners are entitled to half of the retirement pension that has been accrued during the marriage. This is done according to the Pension Settlement (Divorce) Act (Wet verevening pensioenrechten bij scheiding).

Waiving the standard division method

You can also make alternative arrangements regarding the division. Partners can exclude each other from the right to any retirement pension in prenuptial or cohabitation agreements, or specify that they waive this right in a divorce settlement agreement. In case of a different distribution you must send us a certified copy of the divorce settlement agreement or the prenuptial agreement.

For more information you can consult the brochure 'Dividing retirement pensions in the event of a divorce', (Verdeling van ouderdomspensioen bij echtscheiding), a –Dutch only– publication by the Ministry of Security and Justice. You can download this brochure from the website of the Government of the Netherlands . You can enter the Dutch title of the brochure in the search field at the top right-hand side of the page.

Website Government of the Netherlands

What you have to arrange

If you live in the Netherlands the Pension Fund will be informed automatically in the event of a divorce by the municipality in which you live. In this case you do not need to inform the Pension Fund separately. If you live abroad then you must inform the Pension Fund that you are getting divorced. The same applies for a registered partnership.

If you have a cohabitation agreement and you have registered your partner with us, then you always need to inform the Pension Fund about the divorce, whether you live in the Netherlands or abroad. To do so you can use the 'Termination of cohabitation agreement' form.

Form 'Termination of cohabitation agreement'

you are no longer cohabiting, your cohabitation agreement has been terminated

Payment by the Pension Fund

We can pay both ex-partners their pensions directly. In order to do so we need to know whether you have agreed to divide the pension and what distribution has been agreed.

A statutory –Dutch only– form exists for this purpose: 'Notification of divorce in relation to retirement pension division' (Mededeling van scheiding in verband met verdeling van ouderdomspensioen). You or your ex-partner must complete this form and send it to the Pension Fund. You can download the form from the website of the Government in The Netherlands.

In the search field at the top right-hand side of the page enter: ‘formulier scheiding’ (divorce form).

If we do not receive the form within two years following the divorce we will not pay any pension directly to your ex-partner. Your ex-partner is still entitled to a share of your retirement pension but you must then pay it to your ex-partner yourself.

Website Government of the Netherlands

Dividing several pensions

If both you and your partner have accrued a pension you can both divide the pensions in the same way. If the pensions you have both accrued are more or less the same then for practical reasons you can waive the division of both pensions.

Cohabitation agreement: no division

It may be that you cohabited with your partner and concluded a cohabitation agreement with a notary. If you registered your partner with us then in the event of your death he or she will be entitled to a partner’s pension. With a cohabitation agreement your ex-partner has no right to any payment of a share of your retirement pension if the relationship ends. This situation is therefore different to a marriage or a registered partnership.

In the event of your or your ex-partner’s death

In the event of your death your retirement pension stops. This also applies to the share received by your ex-partner. However, your ex-partner is entitled to the partner’s pension that has been accrued up until the date of divorce, unless this was waived in a divorce settlement agreement. Since it is a pension for your ex-partner it is called a special partner’s pension. This pension is deducted from the partner’s pension for a potential new partner you subsequently married or with whom you entered into a registered partnership or a cohabitation agreement.

In the event of your ex-partner's death you once more receive the full, undivided retirement pension.

Conversion: a personal pension for an ex-partner

You can also arrange to divide your pension in such a way that the retirement pension to which your partner is entitled, together with the special partner’s pension, is converted into an independent retirement pension for him or her. The division for this individual retirement pension entitlement is called conversion.

In the event of your death your ex-partner receives the converted retirement pension. In this case he or she does not receive any special partner’s pension. Agreements about conversion must be established in a prenuptial or divorce settlement agreement. Conversion is only possible with the agreement of the Pension Fund.

Early retirement or working longer

If you decide to take early retirement or to defer your retirement this also has implications for your ex-partner. If you take early retirement then the pension payments are lower.

Your ex-partner will then also receive lower payments starting at an earlier date. If you defer your retirement then your ex-partner will receive higher payments starting at a later date, just like you.

More in You accrue pension