The Dutch pension system

With the help of Delta Lloyd (a large Dutch insurer), GfK, the fourth largest market research institute in the world, has found that Dutch youths are not keen to work until they’re 70. The age of retirement has been increasing over the last few years in the Netherlands, but those who are just beginning their career journey are not so enthusiastic about this fact.

The Three Pillars of the Dutch Pension System

There are three pillars in the Dutch pension system, the first being the “pay as you go” option in which everyone between the ages of 15 and 65 in the Netherlands contributes to pension benefits through the workforce.

As stated, directly or indirectly, everyone contributes to pension costs whether they work or not.

The second pillar refers to collective pension schemes that are created for those working for companies of all sizes. Though it is not mandatory by Dutch law to become a member of such pension funds, more than 90% of employees have an arrangement with their employer.

The third pillar is for those who may be self-employed or are employees in sectors without a collective pension scheme. In article 2.3 of the  system brochure provided by the Pensioenfederatie, it says, “Anyone can purchase a product in the third pillar to meet his/her requirements. In this way, people can save extra pension, often taking advantage of tax benefits.”

The Future of Retirement in the Netherlands

So let’s not jump the gun and worry about working for another 50 years, as this is not always the case. Certain circumstances may permit you to retire earlier, or even later if you choose. By 2021, it is expected that retirement will begin when one turns 67, but in 2022 the state pension will be linked to life expectancy. To see when you could expect to retire, check here. Recent generations may not have begun looking into how they would go about retiring and what life is like after working, but thanks to the different options we are given in the Netherlands you are supported in any circumstance. It’s just another great benefit to working and living in the Netherlands!

What to do when you get ill while working as a Temporary Employee at Abroad Experience

While working for Abroad Experience, if you do become ill during your contract as a temporary employer, we ask you to keep the following steps in mind:

  • Inform your Hirer (your Manager) before 10.00 on the day of illness and explain your current situation.
  • Inform Abroad Experience after you spoke to your manager and also let us know that you have been in contact with your manager already.
  • When you are back at work, please also inform Abroad Experience of this so we can update our records.

When you do become ill there are some conditions that are stated by the CAO (Collective Labor Agreement) that Abroad Experience follows:

  • When falling ill you will not receive payment until the 3rd day of sick leave, as the first 2 days are waiting days. To compensate for these 2 waiting days you are entitled to a paid percentage (0.71% – waiting day compensation) with every 4-week payment period. This means every 4 weeks you will receive the waiting day compensation paid out with your salary.
  • When Abroad Experience registers you as ill to the UWV (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, English: Employee Insurance Agency), the assignment that has been signed will come to an end. When you are able to return to work, and the hiring manager has agreed to this, a new assignment will be signed between you and Abroad Experience.

Other useful links:

Do I need a work permit to work in the Netherlands and if so, how can I apply for it?

You wish to work in the Netherlands- fantastic! Do make sure to ask yourself, before you apply or attend interviews, whether you still need to arrange a work permit to start the next chapter in your new home country. 

Who needs a work permit to be able to work in the Netherlands?

Are you a citizen from within the EU, the EEA, Switzerland or Croatia? Then you do NOT need a work permit or residence permit to work legally in The Netherlands. You have the ”freedom of movement”. Since 2018 Croatia was added to the list of countries that no longer need a work permit.

Are you a citizen from a non-EU country? Then you will need to obtain a work permit to work in the Netherlands. 

Please be aware that Abroad Experience cannot assist you with obtaining a work permit. We cooperate with international companies that only accept applications from candidates who already have a valid work permit! For more information, please scroll to the bottom of the blog article. 

Other situations in which somebody does not need to apply for a work permit:

1. You are in a registered partnership with a Dutch or EU citizen who is legally able to work in the Netherlands

2. You have a one-year working holiday visa: If you are from Australia, New Zealand or Canada and you are between 18-30 years old, you can work for one year in the Netherlands.

3. You are enrolled in a Dutch university program and came to the Netherlands for education as a non-EU citizen, then you are able to work on the side of your studies for a maximum of 16 hours during the academic year and full-time in the months between June-August. You will need to apply for a TWV work permit to do so. A work permit is not required if you do an internship as part of your studies.

4. You had a work permit for the Netherlands in the past: If you worked in the Netherlands in the past for at least 5 years and had Dutch residency (3 years for Turkish citizens), then your employer does not need to apply for a work permit again.

I have Dutch residence but how do I know if I need an additional work permit? 

Your residence card will state on the backside that you are free to work in the Dutch labor market without a work permit (it will state in Dutch: Arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV is niet vereist).

What are the different kinds of work permits and which one do I need?

There are different kinds of work permits:

  • An employment permit (TWV) 
  • A single permit which is also known as a combined residence and work permit (GVVA)
  • A highly skilled migrant permit
  • A search year visa (zoekjaar visa) for expat graduates
  • A holiday working visa

Depending on how long somebody is aiming to stay in the Netherlands, they need to apply for a TWV or GVVA. Only the GVVA is a permit that job seekers can apply to themselves. A TWV can only be applied to by an employer. 

For more detailed  information about different work permits, we advise you to check the following websites:

Please be aware that Abroad Experience cannot assist you with obtaining a work permit. We cooperate with international companies that only accept applications from candidates who already have a valid work permit! 

Below you can find an overview of all the types of work permits that our recruitment agency and clients consider:

EU Citizens

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals do not require a work permit to work legally in the Netherlands.

Dutch Citizens 

There are three ways to acquire Dutch citizenship: by means of naturalizationoption procedure, or by law (birth or family ties).


You are able to stay in the Netherlands when you are married or in a registered relationship, should you wish to stay with your unmarried partner or are a minor who wishes to stay with your parent(s).

Highly Skilled Migrant

In order to receive this permit, you will need a residence permit or provisional residence permit (mvv).  Only a recognized employer is able to submit an application on behalf of the highly skilled migrant.

Recognized sponsorship companies that can offer support with residence permits + work permits:

If none of the above work permit situations applies to you, please check the link below where you can find a list of companies that offer sponsorship visas. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) publishes a list each year with recognized sponsorship companies.

Abroad Experience BV is an international recruitment agency that offers unique career opportunities to multilingual job seekers. See our vacancies.

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Travel expense payments

Although it is not compulsory, most companies in The Netherlands reimburse the cost for your daily commuting to work. The policy regarding the amount to be compensated for public and private transport varies from company to company.

When travelling by private transport it is common to receive €0.19 cents per KM up to a certain KM distance per day. The KM distance per day is once again decided by the company. When travelling by public transport companies request invoices/receipts of your travel costs. The policy regarding travel expenses will be stated in your Assignment that you sign with us.

How does it work?

When starting a new position and travelling by public transport you are required to obtain the yellow personalized OVchipcard (persoonlijke OV-chipkaart) with your photo on it. You can request this through the NS/OV chipkaart website. You will need to provide a passport picture for your card, as seen below.

If you do not have a personalized OV chipcard yet, you will need to buy it as soon as possible as it may take up to 2 weeks for you to receive the card at home. For our information, you will need a Dutch bank account to order this card. If you do already have it, you will only need to pay for the new monthly “abonnement” via the website. If working full time, when purchasing a monthly subscription/abonnement, we request that you purchase the Traject Vrij Maand. In Step 2 of this process, after selecting your Traject, you will be able to purchase your OV chipcard as well.

Please be aware that we will not be able to reimburse the cost of the card itself (around 7,5€).
You can pay via IDEAL and you will receive an invoice with the charge. Once you email us the invoice as proof of payment, we will reimburse your travel costs in your 4 weekly salary payment.

For further information, please visit

How to manage career and parents’ life in the Netherlands?

Building a family is always something that drastically changes your life, not only on the personal side but also on the professional one. It can be challenging sometimes to understand all your rights as an employee and future parent. So, if you are a mother or father to be in the Netherlands, you might want to know career and parents’ life in the Netherlands, what are your maternity or paternity rights, when to tell your employer about it and even the impact a baby can have on your career. Read more →

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

IND Immigration and Naturalization Ministry in the NetherlandThe Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst or IND) is a division of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice which handles the admission of foreigners in the Netherlands.  

Whether you wish to move, study, or are seeking asylum in the Netherlands, the IND will be the organization with which your application will be processed. They  will be your main source of information and contact throughout the process.

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The Quest for a BSN Number

It is a rite of passage for newly arrived expats to undergo the mythical quest for a BSN Number… that is to say, obtaining your BSN (burgerservicenummer) which you need for employment and all other administrative functions in the Netherlands. Like most bureaucratic administration, it can be difficult, unnecessarily complicated and frustrating but we will attempt to put forward enough advice to help you get through this process as quickly and effortlessly as possible. If you plan to live and work in the Netherlands for more than four months, you must register at your local municipality (gemeente) within five days of arrival to receive your or BSN. This includes EU/EEA nationals as well as people in possession of a work permit.

Read more →