22 August 2013
An Amsterdam court has decided that widows abroad, who hold a Dutch surviving relative pension, may not have their benefits removed. The decision concluded a case brought to court by eleven Moroccan and Turkish widows whose benefits as surviving widows were curtailed considerably because they moved abroad.
On 1 January 2013 a residence principle came into effect which demands that such payments be adjusted to the cost of living in countries outside the Netherlands. In countries such as Turkey and Morocco, where the cost of living is lower, the government reduced payments to the surviving relatives by as much as 40%. According to the court case this week, the government reduction contradicts several international agreements, and no alteration to payments should be made based on domicile of the beneficiary.