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Pension equalization

Pension rights

In the event of a divorce, there may be a right to pension equalization. This means that each spouse is entitled to 50% of the pension claims accumulated during their marriage. The Equalization of Pension Rights in the Event of a Divorce Act (Wet Verevening pensioenrechten bij scheiding) provides for this.

This statutory provision also applies when a registered partnership is terminated.

When cohabitation is terminated, the pensions will only be equalized if this has been provided for in the pension plan rules of the pension fund or in the cohabitation contract. If there is a pension equalization clause in the cohabitation contract, the pension fund concerned will have to be informed when the cohabitation contract is concluded.

In some cases, pension rights that have been accumulated – under a party’s own management, or not – should be deposited separately for the other spouse or ex-spouse. This prevents the other spouse’s pension claims from remaining to be linked to the company.

In a marriage settlement or covenant, the parties may make different arrangements. This also applies to a partner’s pension or surviving dependant’s pension that may have been accrued for the other spouse.

Pension funds process equalizations of pensions with the help of the form “Verdeling van het ouderdomspensioen bij scheiding” [Equalization of pensions in the event of a divorce]. Pension funds need to be informed within two years after the divorce. If a pension fund has not been informed in time, the right to half the pension of the ex-partner accumulated during the marriage will still exist. In that case, the partner entitled to equalization must claim his or her share of the pension directly from the ex-partner and the right to receive it directly from the pension fund lapses.