Most Dutch employees working in the Netherlands benefit from an AOW pension, as well as the mandatory Dutch pension system, accrued with contributions from both employee and employer. However, moving abroad has major implications for pension accruals under these schemes. While living and working outside the Netherlands you may no longer have the option to pay in to your AOW or your mandatory Dutch pension scheme – and as a result your benefits on retirement will be reduced.

Nevertheless, it is imperative that you continue to save for your retirement and I would highly recommend taking professional advice on how best to do that. Expats often find that a lower cost of living combined with a higher salary gives them an excellent opportunity to amass significant savings during their time abroad. If that is your situation, don’t pass up the possibility of building up substantial capital for your future financial security.

It may be that your new employer operates a contributory pension scheme but that is not always the case. Even if it is, it is always best to have a qualified specialist talk you through the options available to you with regard to savings and investments which are tailored to your unique circumstances.

Think carefully about where you invest your savings. The Dutch pension and savings products which were available to you back home may no longer be available to you, or may not be the best for making the most of your capital savings. As an expat you will have a greater range of investment opportunities available to you. However you choose to invest, the key principles apply: invest in a diverse range of assets and take into account your personal appetite for risk.

Consider too that working outside the euro zone and accruing a pension there has exchange rate implications if you plan to retire back in the Netherlands and you should take relevant steps to mitigate the risk of future fluctuations in the exchange rate.

International investment is a complex area. If you’re a Dutch expat looking for some guidance, I’d love to hear from you. I am based in Shanghai but work with clients across Asia. Please feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation chat.

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