1. Does the share of the pension for my ex-partner increase in line with inflation?
Each year the Pension Fund tries to increase pensions in line with inflation. This is done using calculations by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The main condition is that the Pension Fund is financially sound enough. This is expressed by the funding ratio: the ratio between the assets and pension liabilities. If the funding ratio is steadily sufficiently high then in principle indexation is possible.
This indexation applies to the entire old-age pension including your ex-partner's share.
An increase in your income after the divorce, for example as a result of promotion, has no consequences for your ex-partner's share of the pension.
2. What consequences does an earlier or later retirement date have on the pension for my ex-partner?
As a participant in the Shell Pension Fund you are free, to a certain extent to determine when you want retire. This choice has implications for your pension payments.
If you retire earlier then your pension payments will be lower: contribution is paid over a shorter period and you receive your pension over a longer period. If you retire later the opposite is applicable.
These implications also apply to your ex-partner's share of the pension; its payments reflect your pension payments. If you take early retirement then the 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.
3. What happens to the pension of my ex-partner if I remarry someone else?
If you remarry someone else (or enter into a registered partnership with someone else), then this has no impact on the division of pension between you and your ex-partner. Your ex-partner is still entitled to the share of the pension that was accrued up to the divorce date, unless you agreed otherwise such as an alternative division or a conversion. Your ex-partner is also entitled to the special partner’s pension in the event of your death. If you agreed a conversion then your ex-partner receives no special partner pension in the event of your death.
If your new relationship does not last your new partner is entitled to half of the pension that was accrued during the official duration of the relationship. In the event of your death then the special partner’s pension of your ex-partner is deducted from the partner’s pension of your new partner.
4. How does the pension change if I remarry my ex-spouse?
If you remarry or enter into a registered partnership with your ex-spouse you no longer need to divide your pensions. In the event of a marriage or registered partnership the Pension Fund is automatically notified by the Dutch municipality in which you live. So you do not need to inform the Pension Fund separately. The division of your retirement pension is then cancelled.
If you cohabit and want to register your partner with the Pension Fund you have to inform the Pension Fund yourself. To do so visit the Pension Fund website and use the 'Application for partner's pension arrangement’ form.
If you live abroad then you always have to keep the Pension Fund informed yourself, also when you are getting married or decide to cohabit.
If you decide to separate again at a later stage then you need to request a division of the retirement pension once again. The periods during which you were officially married or in a registered partnership are then added up together. This is how the Pension Fund determines the share of the pension to which your ex-partner is entitled.
No pension is divided at the end of a cohabitation contract.
5. What does it mean for the pension of my ex-partner if I am not a Dutch national or if I have worked abroad?
If you or your ex-partner are not a Dutch national then it is possible that the legal regulations mentioned here do not apply to you. This can also be the case if you lived or worked abroad for a time during your marriage.
Each country has its own legal regulations. In Dutch law the three most important rules are:
- Pension rights accrued in a Dutch pension scheme are eligible for division according to Dutch law. The Pension Fund pays your ex-partner's share directly to him or her.
- Pension rights accrued in a foreign pension scheme are also eligible for division according to Dutch law. The condition is that the division of assets and possessions in the event of a divorce is carried out according to Dutch law. In this situation there is no right to direct payment by the foreign pension provider.
- In this case you must pay your ex-partner's share of the pension directly to him/her.
- If it concerns a foreign pension scheme, and the division of assets and possessions in the event of divorce is effected according to foreign law, then a division of the pension is only possible if it is provided for in the foreign law. Direct payment to your ex-partner also depends on the latter.
- This rule applies to divorces after 1 March 2001. If you divorced prior to this date and would like to know more about your rights and obligations related to the division of your pension, then it is best to contact your pension provider.