Algemene Ouderdomswet

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The Algemene Ouderdomswet (general old-age law) is a 1956 Dutch law that installed a state pension for all elderly. This law was a continuation of a 1947 temporary law. The old law was a proposal by Willem Drees and the new one came about when he was prime minister. It is the one thing he is remembered for most and his name is immortalised in the expression 'van Drees trekken' (literally 'drawing from Drees' after the Dutch word 'steuntrekken' for receiving social security).

The law provides a pension from an AOW age which increases with time for everyone who has lived in the Netherlands during the 50 years before his age catches up with the AOW age. For those who have not lived in the Netherlands the full 50 years the amount is proportional. If a pensioner has a common household with someone else (for example in the case of marriage or cohabitation), whether also a pensioner or not, the monthly amount is lower than if he or she lives alone.

Various schemes for increase of the AOW age have been proposed, some of which have been in an advanced stage of approval. The AOW age was fixed at 65 years until now (June 2012). Now people have to adjust their personal financial planning schemes. However, the rapid changes of plans make it difficult to estimate the extent of cancellation of expected payments. The outcome of the Dutch general election, 2012 in September may speed up or slow down the latest scheme of increase of the AOW age again.

For people who do not own a house and have a total of possessions like a car and savings of less than € 5600 and have no income the WWB welfare scheme serves as an alternative.

The amendments to the AOW triggered a series of demonstrations in November 2009 at the Malieveld in The Hague.[1]

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