Surinamese pensioners to get compensation for pension gap


Some 30,000 Surinamese pensioners will get financial compensation for the shortfall in their pensions after all, and the government has allocated €122 million as a ‘gesture of recognition, finance minister Sigrid Kaag confirmed in her spring financial statement.

Surinamese pensioners who came to the Netherlands as adults are not entitled to full AOW because Suriname was not considered part of the kingdom of the Netherlands when state pension legislation was introduced.

To qualify for a full state pension, immigrants must have lived in the Netherlands for 50 years, and that means thousands of people who moved here from Suriname have a pension gap.

Technically, people who lived in Suriname between the launch of the state pension system (AOW) in 1956 and independence in 1975 were living in part of the Netherlands, but not for pension purposes, the Council of State said in a ruling two years ago.

In 2020, MPs had voted in favour of a motion calling for compensation for the group, and a government commission made a similar recommendation.

The pension age in the Netherlands is being increased in stages from 65 to 67. When the increase is fully implemented, an immigrant must have been in the country since the age of 17 to qualify for the same AOW as a native Dutch person who has never lived abroad.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation