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Old-age pension

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AOV (Old-age pension)

AOV stands for Algemene Ouderdomsverzekering (General Old-age Insurance Act). This is a national insurance which guarantees to those who have reached retirement age a basic pension. The objective of this scheme is a compulsory insurance against financial consequences of old age for the entire population, on account of which the person who has been insured can receive an old-age pension on reaching the age of sixty-five. AOV applies to everyone, not just to employers or employees, but also to the self-employed, housewives, and students. AOV is based on the principle of solidarity, in the sense that all insured persons with an income, have to pay the AOV premium. The amount of the benefit depends on the number of years the insured person lived or has lived in Curaçao before reaching the retirement age. The pension is granted on request. The Social Insurance Bank (SVB) implements the General Old-age Insurance Act (PB 1960, No. 83).

Who is insured?

Insured for AOV are:

– All residents of Curaçao , regardless of their nationality – who (from March 1, 2013) have not reached the age of 65 yet. A resident is the one who lives in Curaçao, which means having the center of your life interests (socially, economically and legally) in Curaçao .

– Non residents (residing abroad) employed in Curaçao and subject to income tax in Curaçao.

– Public servants in Curaçao with the Dutch nationality living abroad temporarily, because:

• they have worked for the Curaçao government in the Netherlands. This is the case when one has been authorized as Curaçao Minister Plenipotentiary or working at the Curaçao  House in The Hague.

• fulfilling a school assignment.

Significant law amendment

As of March 1, 2013, the General Old-age Insurance Act (PB 1960 , No. 83) was amended on the following points:

1. retirement age has been raised from 60 to 65;

2. AOV pension will not be adjusted automatically with the increased cost of living (inflation). The AOV pension will only be adjusted, if there is real economic growth (nominal growth minus inflation);

3 . Total AOV premium is increased by 2%, bringing the total premium to 15%. This increase comes at the expense of the employer;

4 . The premium income limit is increased to Naf. 100,000.00 per year, provided that the insured person who earns a taxable income over Naf. 100,000.00 per year has to pay an additional premium of 1% on the amount surpassing Naf. 100,000.00.

As of January 1, 2017 an extra reduction of 10% will apply for those living abroad.

Consequences of the increased retirement age.

Raising the retirement age to 65 is applicable to the insured who, at the introduction of this Act as of March 1, 2013, was 56 years of age or younger (born after 01-03-1956). The insured who at the time of the introduction of this amendment were 57 or 58 years of age (and therefore born between 01-03-1954 and 01-03-1956), have the option of transitional arrangements: they may determine at what age, ranging from 60 to 65 years, they want to enforce their rights to old-age pension. The following applies, however, namely that for each year that the insured retires before the age of 65, he/she will receive 6% less AOV pension. Table 1 gives an indication of the amount of the AOV pension that you will receive, if you choose for earlier retirement pension rights, if you were  58 or 57 years of age on March 1, 2013.

Table 1: amount of AOV-benefit,  if you choose to retire between the ages of 60 and 65

Age

  Reduction

AOV

AOV

 (   full amount)

 %

 Amount

 after   reduction

60

862.00

30

258.60

603.40

61

862.00

24

206.88

655.12

62

862.00

18

155.16

706.84

63

862.00

12

103.44

758.56

64

862.00

6

    51.72

810.28

65

862.00

0

862.00

For the insured who are 59 years of age at the time of introduction of the law amendment, they will be entitled to the AOV pension upon reaching the age of 60 without the reduction of 6% per year.

Premium payment

The AOV is a compulsory insurance and is funded according to the so-called pay-as-you-go system. This means that all insured persons between the ages of 15 and 65 who have an income, jointly pay the premium required to provide for the AOV pension. As of March 1, 2013, the total premium is 15%, of which 9% employer’s share and 6% employee’s share. The premium is levied on the income up to a maximum of Naf. 100,000 (as of March 1, 2013), provided that the insured that receives a taxable income of more than Naf . 100,000 per year,  has to pay an additional premium of 1% on the amount exceeding Naf. 100,000.

The amount Old-age pension

The AOV has a build-up character, which means that the amount of the AOV pension depends on the number of years a person has been insured. The AOV pension is based on an insurance scheme which provides 2% of the full pension amount for each year of insurance. This rule applies to everyone, regardless of their profession or nationality. As of March 1, 2013, the AOV is built-up between the ages of 15 and 65. The maximum AOV pension for the year 2016 is Naf. 862,=. This maximum is only for those who have been insured for a total of 50 years. If you have lived outside of Curaçao during your period of insurance, for example because of work or study, you are not insured for the AOV pension during that period. For each calendar year that you have not been insured, a deduction of 2% will be applied to  the AOV pension.  If you know approximately how many years you have been insured, multiply this by 2(%) and you will receive that percentage of the maximum of Naf. 862,=. You can then calculate how much AOV pension you can expect. Keep in mind that, if you had to pay AOV premium, but did not, you will receive a deduction of 3% for each year in which the premium has not been paid.

Christmas bonus

If in the month of September you are entitled to old-age pension, you are also entitled to a Christmas bonus. The Christmas bonus is 100% of the amount of the old-age pension, to which you were entitled in the month of September, and is paid out once a year in the month of December.

As of December 2016 pensioners who live abroad will no longer receive a Christmas bonus.

Allowance

For married retirees (receiving AOV), whose partner has not reached the pensionable age, the rule is that the partner will receive an allowance, insofar as the joint taxable  incomes do not exceed Naf. 12,000.00 annually. The amount of the allowance depends on the number of years that your spouse was insured between his /her 15th  birthday and the 65th  anniversary of the pensioner. For each year that your spouse is not insured, there is a deduction of 2% on the allowance. The maximum allowance for the year 2016 is Naf . 591, = per month. Your spouse will receive his/her own AOV pension when he/she turns 65 and meets the conditions for getting an AOV pension.
Applying for the AOV pension

To be eligible for an AOV pension/allowance you must submit an application. This is done with a special application form. The application form must always be correctly and fully completed and signed. If you live in Curaçao, ask for the AOV-pension/allowance at the SVB. You must always have a valid ID card with you and a proof of your bank account. The SVB can also help you in completing and checking your request. If you live abroad, you must take care of sending the application to the SVB. In this case, you can download the application form from our website or ask the SVB to send you an application form. The completed and signed application form, along with the required documents (such as a copy of your passport, copy of your bank details and an original life-certificate (proof of being alive), should be addressed to: the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) Curaçao, Pater Euwensweg 9, Curaçao . Application forms can also be sent digitally (pensioenen@svbcur.org). It is recommended to fill in the application form 6 months before reaching the age of 65, as the SVB needs time to determine the level of your pension. To that end, the SVB has to verify in what periods you were insured for AOV. If you submit the application on time, the AOV pension can also be granted on time. You must bring along your marriage booklet or, if you are not married, your identification card.

Commencement date

If the pension application is submitted on time, the pension can be awarded and paid on the first day of the month following the one in which you reach the retirement age. If you are late in submitting you application for your AOV pension/allowance, the SVB can grant the pension/allowance with retroactive force. But the pension/allowance cannot commence earlier than a year before it has been requested. In particular cases an exception can be made.

If you are already 60 years of age before March 1, 2013 and you have not submitted any application for an AOV pension, please contact the SVB as soon as possible and we will send you an application form.

AOV Payment

The SVB pays your AOV pension/allowance at the beginning of each month (in advance) via your bank. If you live abroad, you can also receive your AOV pension on a foreign bank account. Please indicate the IBAN and BIC numbers. Your IBAN is your International Bank Account Number. Your BIC is your  Bank Identifier Code and is mandatory for all international payments. Without them, we cannot transfer your AOV pension/allowance. Your IBAN and BIC can be found on your bank statement. If your IBAN and BIC are not mentioned on your bank statement, you can get a copy from your bank. Send them, together with the application form. If the AOV pension must be transferred to your bank account in the Netherlands, St. Maarten, Aruba or the BES islands, you don’t need the IBAN and BIC.

In the event of payment to a foreign bank, the AOV pension is not paid in Antillean guilders, but in a different currency. The net amount you receive may vary each time, because it depends on the exchange rate of other currencies. For transferring money to a foreign account, the banks charge extra fees. These costs will be deducted from your AOV pension. To prevent possible delays in the payments, it is recommended to inform the SVB on time that you want to change your pay-out address. The terms of the pension or allowance, which are not collected within two years from the first day on which they should have been collected, will no longer be paid.

Life certificate

If you live abroad, we must periodically check whether you are still alive. As a matter of fact, the AOV pension ends upon the death of the pensioner. This is why we ask you periodically to send us a life certificate.

 You live in the Dutch kingdom

If you live in the Netherlands, you can pick up your life certificate at your municipality. If you live in St. Maarten, Aruba or the BES islands, you can contact one of our sister organizations to fill out and verify your life certificate. The life certificates issued by Dutch municipalities and our sister organizations have a validity of 6 months and may also be sent digitally to: pensioenen@svbcur.org. If the life certificate is digitally, you don’t need to sent the original by post.

 You live elsewhere in the world

If you live elsewhere in the world (not in the Dutch Kingdom), you can pick up your life certificate at one of the following competent authorities: Dutch embassy, ​​Dutch consulate, local notary or local Registry Office. Our form “life certificate”, which can be downloaded from our website, must be filled out, validated and certified by the above-mentioned entities. Only original validated and authenticated life certificates by the competent authorities will be considered by the SVB. Upon receipt of the original validated life certificate we will pay your blocked payments until the date of the life certificate. Make sure you send the life certificate before the 12th of the month. In doing so, you  will avoid us having to (temporarily) block your AOV pension.

What is deducted from your AOV pension/allowance

If you live in Curaçao, the SVB has to withhold 1% premium for the General Insurance for Special Medical Expenses (AVBZ) from your AOV pension/allowance, which every pensioner must pay. If you live abroad, you don’t have to pay premium AVBZ .

End of the AOV pension

The old-age pension/allowance ends on account of the death of the person entitled to a pension or because of cancellation. Many people will not remember to inform the SVB as soon as possible after the death of, for example, their spouse or parent. It is, nevertheless, important to do so, as the AOV pension/extra allowance has to be stopped the month following the death of the pensioner. If the surviving marriage partner is younger than 65, he or she can appeal to the Act” General Widows’ and Orphans’ benefits Act (Algemene Weduwe en Wezenverzekering (AWW)

Payment at death

If a person who is entitled to a pension/allowance dies, the old-age pension/allowance will be paid up to and including the last day of the month in which the person died. If AOV pensions are not paid (for example due to the fact that they are suspended), the heirs will receive the unpaid pension. The application must be submitted at the SVB, with a death certificate and a certificate of inheritance (available at a notary), within six months after the death of the pensioner. The application form can be downloaded from our website or requested at the SVB.

Lump sum after death

If a person who is entitled to a pension/allowance dies, a lump sum, equal to four times the monthly old-age pension, will be paid to the person(s) qualifying for such in the opinion of the SVB in accordance with the requirements of fairness. Usually, this is the person who has been in charge of the funeral expenses of the deceased pensioner. No premium AVBZ will be withheld on the lump sum. The application for this must have been submitted to the SVB within six months after the death of the person who was entitled to an old-age pension/allowance.

The form can be downloaded from our website or requested at the SVB. Please include a copy of the death certificate and a copy of the funeral expenses with your application form.

Control and claim

Your old-age pension/allowance will be canceled or revised by the SVB when changes take place in your personal circumstances which influence your AOV pension. Any change must be reported within 14 days. The SVB carries out controls by means of random checks or periodic controls to verify if changes have been passed on correctly and on time. Any AOV pension/allowance that has been paid out incorrectly or excessively will be reclaimed:
– if you have submitted incorrect information or if changes have not been reported or not on time, or
– if you could have known that the amount paid out was too high or paid out wrongfully. Supplying incorrect information intentionally or not supplying information is punishable.

What must you report?

You always have to report the following changes in your personal circumstances in writing to the SVB within 14 days.

  •  if your marriage has been dissolved by divorce
  • if  your spouse has died
  • if  your nationality or your spouse’s nationality has changed
  • if  you are going to move
  • if  you are going abroad or are going to live in another country (you need not notify the SVB if you are going on short trips).

Please inform us of any change by email (pensioenen@svbcur.org ) or by making use of our “notify change” form. This form can be downloaded from our website or at our office. You can also call or write to the SVB to get a form.

 

Arrange your mail when sick

Whether you need to be admitted to hospital or be nursed somewhere temporarily, it is advisable to arrange your mail in these situations. By doing so, you can prevent your AOV pension/allowance from being withdrawn, suspended or revised, because you have not responded to a request from the SVB on time. You can request the SVB to send your mail to someone else who will notify you of important letters. You can also authorize someone to act on your behalf. It is also possible for you to authorize someone to act on your behalf. This person will get the permission to open your mail and reply on your behalf. This requires that you sign an authorization statement with that person. At the SVB, there is a special form. You can also download the form from our website.

Going abroad

If you are going to live abroad after you have reached retirement age, it will result in a deduction being applied to your AOV pension/allowance. So always inquire at the SVB what the consequences will be for the level of your AOV pension/allowance, if you are going to live abroad.

What you have to know additionally

– AO number

When you have submitted your pension application to the SVB, the SVB will compile a file. In this file all important data are collected. Every person entitled to a pension has a file of his/her own with a registration number of his/her own (AO number). On all letters that you receive from the SVB, your AO number is mentioned, as well as the name of your contact. Whenever you have any questions concerning your pension and you want to contact the SVB in writing or by phone, mention your AO number. The SVB can then answer your questions more rapidly.

Working after reaching retirement age

If you are still working in paid employment after retirement, you can just keep your salary in addition to your AOV pension. In that case no AOV premium will be withheld on your salary.

Appeal

By virtue of the Administrative Justice Act, you have the following possibilities if you are in disagreement with this decision. You can submit a letter of objection to the Director of the Social Insurance Bank, Pater Eeuwensweg 9, Curaçao within six weeks after the date that this decision has been issued, or in cases where it can be proven that this decision was received on a later date within the six weeks of said date. In your letter of objection clear mention must be made of the reasons of your disagreement and also of the decision which, according to you, the Social insurance Bank should take. Be sure to date your letter and please state your identification number. Please put on the envelope “letter of objection” and be sure to sign your letter.

You can also file a written appeal with the clerk of the Court. This appeal must be submitted within six weeks after the date that this decision has been issued, or in cases where it can be proven that this decision was received on a later date, within the six weeks of said date. In your appeal – that has to be submitted in duplicate- clear mention must be made of the reasons of your disagreement and also of the decision which, according to you, the Social Insurance Bank should take. As a matter of principle, a court fee will be charged when submitting an appeal to the clerk of the Court.

Any further questions
If you have any further questions on your AOV pension/allowance, you can apply to the SVB for more information. You can call the SVB, but you can also drop by, if you prefer to do so.

Tel., contact and email:
For letters A-H: (5999)434-4448. Contact: Mr. A. Davelaar
Email: adavelaar@svbcur.org
Letters I-N : (5999)434-4453. Contact: Mrs. Charline Henriquez
Email: chenriquez@svbcur.org
Letters O-Z : (5999)434-4456. Contact: Ms. Macciarella Scoop
Email: mscoop@svbcur.org

Fax no.: (5999)434-4502
Address: Pater Euwensweg 9, Curaçao