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October 17th 2019

In recent weeks the media has run stories on the abrupt discontinuation of the surviving dependents benefit compensation. This is a supplementary benefit over and above the benefit for surviving dependents. All participants in the ABP pension scheme received a letter about this last December. We would like to let you know what NWO is doing with respect to the discontinuation of the surviving dependents benefit compensation.

What is a surviving dependents benefit compensation?
If you die then your partner and/or children are entitled to a statutory benefit from the government. This is arranged via the Dutch General Law for Surviving Dependents. If your partner does not yet receive a pension and does not receive or fully receive a surviving dependents benefit from the government, then in certain situations the ABP supplements the surviving dependents benefit. That is called a surviving dependents benefit compensation.

Why the surviving dependents benefit compensation has been discontinued
The surviving dependents benefit compensation has been discontinued because the scheme became too complex for the ABP to execute it adequately. Discontinuation of this scheme is part of a package of measures that also includes several improvements to the pension scheme, such as an improvement in the surviving dependents pension. The measures are the outcome of negotiations about this between the civil service employers and the trade unions. They jointly decide what the pension scheme consists of. In the media it was stated that the civil servant employers could or should come up with a scheme to replace the discontinued surviving dependents benefit compensation.

Current state of affairs
At the request of the social partners, the ABP has decided to continue the surviving dependent's benefit compensation until 1 May 2018. Therefore until 1 May 2018, employees will retain their right to surviving dependent's benefit compensation according to the old conditions.

For people who become incurably ill before 1 May 2018 an exception will still apply. They are uninsurable and after 1 May 2018 their partner can also be eligible for surviving dependent's benefit compensation.

What is NWO doing?
The various umbrella organisations of the civil service employers are currently evaluating whether it is desirable to offer an insurance to replace the surviving dependents benefit compensation. The Employers' Association of Research Institutes (WVOI), of which NWO is a member, is also considering this and has discussed the matter with other civil service employers. Further information about the outcome of these talks will follow in the next few weeks.

General information about ABP pension facilities can be found in an updated leaflet about building up a pension via ABP.