Dutch Social Security for U.S. residents: new procedures

From Brooklyn, New York, correspondent Benno Groeneveld describes a new procedure to apply for Dutch social security benefits from the U.S.

Applying for Dutch social security benefits ("AOW") while living in the United States used to be quite easy: just call or e-mail the "Sociale Verzekeringsbank" (the Dutch Social Security Administration). The agency would send you a form to complete and return, and payments would start rolling into your bank account starting the month you turned 65.

June 2011: new procedures

But things changed in June 2011. Dutch-born residents of the U.S., whether Dutch citizens or not, must now apply for AOW payments through the U.S. Social Security Administration (S.S.A.). The application requires a special form, of course: SSA-2490-BK. Initially, this form could be found on the website of the Social Security Administration (www.socialsecurity.gov). But when I looked recently, I found only a link to an explanation of a treaty between the U.S. and Poland (yes!), not the necessary form.

My best advice is to call the S.S.A. (1-800-772-1213) to request a copy of SSA-2490-BK. You can also visit your local office. To find the office nearest you, check the S.S.A.’s website.

After completing the form, send it to the S.S.A.’s international office in Baltimore or make an appointment to submit it personally at your local S.S.A. office. Appointments can be made through the general S.S.A. help number and, depending on how busy your local office is, may take some time to schedule. In my case, I waited four weeks.

It is useful to know that there is a special procedure for completing this application process: GN 01725.215C. Officials usually appreciate that kind of help, especially for new or unusual procedures. I met with an official who had never heard of this procedure, but the guidelines made the process smooth.

Form SSA-2490-BK can be used to apply for Dutch Social Security payments only, or you can apply for U.S. Social Security payments at the same time. Dutch Social Security payments automatically start in the month you turn 65. U.S. Social Security payments can start at any time between the ages of 62 and 70.

Preventing abuse

According to the Dutch "Sociale Verzekeringsbank," this procedural change will prevent abuse of the system. The bureau will be able to verify an individual’s data from afar (address, marital status, etc.) giving the SVB more certainty that all information is correct.

The new procedure does make the "AOW" application a little more cumbersome. So, make sure to start at least six months before your 65th birthday.

How much will you receive?

In the Netherlands, an individual’s AOW "account" builds up between the ages of 15 and 65. For every year you lived and/or worked in the Netherlands, you are entitled to a payment of 2 percent of the current "AOW" amount distributed to residents of the Netherlands. Nationality doesn’t matter. I know people who left the Old Country a few years after they turned 15 and became U.S. citizens. After their 65th birthday they applied for and now receive a payment (in Euros!) every month.

The Dutch AOW can be paid through a bank account in the Netherlands (monthly, independent of the amount) or through a bank in the U.S. In order to keep expenses low for international bank transactions low, "AOW" payments can also be made every three months or even once a year, in December.

If you still have questions: call the S.V.B.’s foreign office in Groningen. When calling from the U.S. the number is 011-31-50-316-9010. Or send an e-mail through the website. In my experience, S.V.B. employees are very helpful and they react quickly to e-mails.

Benno Groeneveld, Brooklyn, NY, October 2011.

This article is based on information from the Sociale Verzekerinsgsbank and my own experience. I am not a lawyer or an official spokesperson and I am not responsible for any mistakes in this article. This is only a guideline. Individual cases may be different. When in doubt, or for answers to specific questions: contact the SVB.



If you have lived and worked in the Netherlands for the better part of your (working) life it is only fair that you receive AOW even when abroad. In other cases such as moving at a young age and naturalizing it seems a bit far fetched to collect AOW; especially now that the funds are strained with current longevity and the masses of over-65s. AOW was meant to provide people with a secure income to ensure basic sustenance, not a monthly extra retainer.


How much will you receive?

I know people who left the Old Country a few years after they turned 15 and became U.S. citizens. After their 65th birthday they applied for and now receive a payment (in Euros!) every month. Unquote

If I may put my two cents in, I do NOT believe this!
As mentioned before in the article, you build up 2% per year you WORK or LIVE in the NETHERLANDS. Only older persons that worked or lived in the Netherlands BEFORE the AOW became law in 1957 got a waiver.


It's true!

Never heard about 1957 in my conversations with the "Sociale Verzekeringsbank" (Dutch Social Security). As I said in the article, everybody should check with the SVB regarding his or her specific situation.

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I submitted an application to SS, I received word that they sent it on to Holland. That was in Nov. I haven't heard a thing since.

I left the Netherlands in 1981, age 35, applied in September 2012 through the Social Security Administration for AOW and have been awarded a year back pay and a monthly pro-rated AOW income starting February 2013, my husband the same story. It took a while in Baltimore to get send on, but then it was received in Groningen and I was informed in January 2013.

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Did you receive a latter from SVB Groningen ?

Recv'd a notice this morning from Holland stating that a person had to live in Holland after 1957. Eventho' I was eligible because I left Holland when I was 22, that was before 1957 however, and therefore I am not eligible.

Hi there! I am in the same position that you are in! I left Holland at age 22. the SVB sent me a form with questions about my birthplace, nationality etc. then they told me to work through the SSA in the USA. I completed the forms and I am ready to send it! But where to?? to the SSA in Baltimore, Maryland? Or am I wasting my time here?
Thanks for the help!

Just got the form SSA 2490-BK from my local office. Pretty complicated, I am totally lost how to fill it out. I am turning 65 this year, have early retirement benefits here in the USA. Before that I had 15 working years in the Netherlands and 9 in Germany. If I count it right I have had some 13 employers in the USA, 4 in Holland and 7 in Germany.

Also the local office told me that sending the completed forms through either the local office or Baltimore could take 1 to 1 1/2 year before it will be on the desk of the SVB and therefore advised me to send it directly to the SVB.

Very worrisome as I don't even know how to fill everything out.

Any suggestion from our readers?

The local SSA office doesn't know what it's talking about. Tell them to datestamp the form, give you a copy and then they should send your SSA form to the foreign affairs office in Baltimore. Baltimore should take not more than a month to forward the form to the SVB in Groningen. Call Baltimore once in a while to make sure that they received your form and that they forwarded it. My copy got 'lost', which is why you need your own copy.
The whole procedure should definitely take less than a year and the SVB will pay retroactively for up to 1 year.
Contact the SVB if things take too long, they can put some pressure on the SSA in Baltimore.

I am about to claim my social security in the U.S. and am also eligible for a partial AOW pension. However, SSA tells me that the Dutch AOW will be deducted from my Social Security. According to the SVB this shouldn't be because AOW is not subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) which apparently relates to work where no Social Security tax was paid; AOW is based on living in the Netherlands, not necessarily working - thus SVB. However, SVB also notes that it is difficult to explain the difference to SSA and concludes, "it's unclear to us whether your AOW-pension will be deducted from your SSA-pension." Since this concerns an official agreement between the U.S. and the Netherlands one would hope for a bit more clarity.
Any advice? Thanks for the help.

Has there been any resolution of this matter? I paid into the Dutch AOW system while working in Holland and also paid into the US SocSec system at the same time. If the SSA is going to deduct the AOW (paid in Euro's) from my US SocSec payments, I might as well not apply for the AOW, even though it is rightfully mine. Thanks for any help you can provide.

I did not see reply to this question (it is jan 2013 now). I would like to know before I drive myself crazy filling out the forms.

This is the form you need. Just type this in your search and you will get it.

GN 01701.320

It will not be deducted from you Social Security. If your payout is significant, they might recalculate the amount of Social Security under the Windfall provision, of which you can find a copy of the method of calculation on the IRS website.

My mother-in-law was Dutch, and moved to the USA in 1959. She never worked in Holland, but has been receiving AOW for many many years. Since she left in her twenties she receives a prorated amount of around $300 per month.

I am a US citizen and received my Dutch passport in Aruba after working and living there for 17 years. I am retiring in the US soon. Will I be eligable to receive my AOW from Aruba or the Netherlands in addition to my Social Security?

Pretty sure you will be eligible, but not for both on top of each other. SSA Baltimore will tie the two together.
Nationality has less to do with it than being sure that back in Aruba you did pay into the AOW system! That is key!
If you already qualify for full USA Social Security it really is not interesting whether you have Dutch rights.
On subject of Dutch nationality achieved later in life: if it is imnportant to you, contact Consulate immediately!!!
In March 2013 the ten year 'grace' period ends on Dutch nationality law change in 2003 and you need passport renewed in time to remain Dutch; else you may lose it in March!!!!!!!!!

Turning 65 in June I started the process. Very pleased to find this website. Thank you for the effort!
I downloaded form SSA-2490 and found suffix -BK showing at the bottom, therefore every 2490 is the -BK version.
With having worked in NL for 30 years (minus some years of working abroad in the seventies and eighties) and 6 years in the US (by itself insufficient to qualify for US SS), I am still utterly confused if this process will yield only SSA payements in dollars or also SVB payments in euro's as well.... We'll see...

Not having paid into USA SS enough to qualify ends up making it really simple in my case. SSA Baltimore pays nothing, while SVB NL will make monthly payments into bank of client's choice, anywhere in the world.

¡Hola! (just returned from wonderful week in Cancun).
Learned from SVB e-mail that they will withhold Dutch income tax from my future (starting in June 2013) AOW payments.
Other Dutch incomes from pension and IRA's (lijfrentes) are tax exempt (every three years request renewal at Belastingdienst Buitenland in Heerlen) but AOW does not fal under that agreement, SVB says.
Anybody familiar with this? Are they correct? They say that is the way the agreement with the US.
If I get 25 Dutch years worth of AOW = 6000 € they'll end up withholding 1200 € tax over it. Guess I'll report the 6000 € in my USA 1040 (worldwide income) and reduce tax due with the 1200 € and see if IRS accepts that?
Anybody experience with this? Thanks!

With "tax exempt" statement I meant "no NL taxes, but, of course, USA income taxes."

yes, income taxes on foriegn income can be deducted from your US income tax,

I am in the same situation and no Dutch taxes are deducted as I asked for this with the Dutch Tax Office. However, if the amount you get paid is significant enough, they tax you in Holland. The Dutch taxes (and Income) you have to report on your US tax return and you will get a credit for the taxes already paid.


On the link above one can ask for een "vrijstelling van loonbelasting"

i filled out all the forms required and send them to my local social security in visalia.ca.i included instructions for them to send it to baltimore.that was in february 2013.i haven't gotten anything yet.

When you fill out form SSA 2490, be sure to give your maiden name when the form first asks for your name. Do NOT give a married or other name under which you are known in the USA. Those names you can give under section 5. For the Dutch authorities, you will always retain and be known under your maiden name.

How can i file for the SSA 2490-BK form? Im 61 yrs old and just live in the US.

Ask for the form at your local IRS office or download it from the IRS website. When filled in , the best is to go to your local IRS office for further processing. Make a copy and do a follow-up in a couple of months. The preocess in long, but it works.

I left the Netherlands in 1956 at age 9. I am still a Dutch citizen and recently turned 65.Should I retire to the Netherlands would I receive any payments from AOW even though I did not contribute into the system? What if I stayed in the US? With over 40 years of SSA credits would those be exchanged for AOW credits and how do they compare if they do?

I do not think you are entiled to any benefit from the Netherlands, but it does not hurt to apply for it any way. You are better of in taken your US benefits as they are prop. higher then what one gets in Holland nowadays.

i was born dutch, from both dutch parents, and lived and worked in the Netherlands until i was 22 - then married a UK citizen and had to give up my dutch passport.now we live in the USA on a green card.how do get my AOW?

Fill in form SSA 2490. Go to the IRS or down load it from their web page and file it through your local IRS office.
Although you left Holland when you were 22, you still are entiled to some kind of a payout.

i was born dutch,in Indonesia from dutch parents, and lived and worked there until i was 22- then married a UK citizen,had to give up dutch passport- we now live in the USA on green card, my citizenship is British now. how do i apply for my AOW?

Thanks for this site, when i asked at my local SSI office they told me that they didn't know anything about this and it was only for people who were missing enough points on SSI, now i have a form and addresses

I applied for Dutch AOW through my local SSA office. The SSA official was extremely helpful. He said forms have a tendency to get lost when applying so he provided copies of everything. He also said I had to work 30 years (at a certain level of pay) in the US to avoid paying the windfall elimination tax.

But I am confused about whether I have to pay income tax on my AOW. Last year I filled in an online tax form and I believe that my AOW was taxed as pension income. I have asked and asked about that and not received an answer about whether I need to pay taxes and, if not, what I need to fill in to avoid being taxed on my AOW.

We all have been there! A lot of confusion and conflicting information. My application was "lost" in Baltimore, had to submit it again with a long delay before I received the SVB application form. Within 2 or 3 weeks after sending it (registered mail) to Groningen, I received a detailed letter from the SVB explaining the payment, both past and present. My hats off to SVB Groningen.
As to the income tax to be paid on the AOW, it depends on your Nationality who (US or Netherlands) can tax the income. If you are still Dutch citizen living in the US, NL can tax as it is source income. US can tax based on the saving clause in the NL-US tax treaty. In order to avoid double taxation, the IRS will deduct the NL tax, but you have to report on the 1040 and take a foreign tax credit.

Now the good part: recently the SSA in the US has issued GN 01701.320 "Types of Pensions in Totalization Agreement Countries That Will Not Trigger the Windfall Elimination Provision. In a Table are listed 7 countries, among which is the Netherlands "National Insurance Scheme (AOW). This is because the AOW is based on presence in NL and not on employment in NL.

Have a nice day

Do I have to report my aow income on my us tax return?

See my note above. If you have the US nationality, there will be no NL taxation, and you will have to report on the US Form 1040. You may have to request exemption from the NL tax authorities.

Yes, but any Dutch taxes you pay can be deducted from your us tax, as you cannot pay tax twice on the same income. You also can apply for a tax exemption on your Dutch AOW,

I filed SSA2490 BK with the Bellevue (WA) Social Security office in Nov 2013, I returned in March 2014 because I hadn't heard anything, explained the process and gave them another copy of the filed form. They called me one day later and stated that they would not accept my form unless I apply at the same time for US Social Security benefits also. I turned 65 and am eligible for Dutch social security, but want to defer my US application until a later date. Has anyone heard the same message that one has to apply for both at the same time? The form seems to indicate that I can use it for just the application for Dutch AOW

i have not received proof of living forms as of november 1st. also my new address is 36 Arizona ave
Tacoma, WA, USA


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