Blended family and your pension

What do you need to know about your pension if you have a new partner? Will you still have enough pension when you retire? We’ve listed various points here so you know your entitlements and what you need to watch out for. Of course, it’s great that TNO Pension Fund helps you with this.

What will you receive from your former partner?

First of all, you need to make a distinction between your old-age pension and partner’s pension.

Did you cohabit? In law, you then have no entitlement to share the old-age pension.

You may, however, be entitled to partner’s pension if your former partner dies, but that only applies if you signed a cohabitation contract at a notary and your partner was registered with the pension fund. If your former partner were to die, you would be entitled to part of the partner’s pension. The level of that partner’s pension depends on the amount that was accrued on the date that your relationship ended. If there were any previous relationships, the partner’s pension awarded to those former partners is deducted from this amount. As your relationship has ended, we call this a ‘special partner’s pension’.

Were you married or did you have a registered partnership? Several legal regulations will then apply.

As a former partner, you are actually entitled to half of your former partner’s old-age pension unless you made other agreements about the distribution of the old-age pension in the prenuptial agreement. This concerns only the part of the old-age pension that was accrued during the period you were married or in a registered partnership. This does not apply to pension accrual prior to the marriage or after the divorce.

With respect to the entitlement to a ‘special partner’s pension’, if your former partner dies in the future, in principle the same applies as does to cohabitees. One difference, however, is that your former partner will automatically be registered with the pension fund. At the time of marriage or registered partnership, you may also have agreed to handle the entitlement to a ‘special partner’s pension’ differently. It is also possible for the former partner to officially waive this entitlement by means of a waiver, which can also be found under ‘Documents’ on our website.

Your new partner and pension: what can you arrange?

If you have a new partner, you can start accruing a partner’s pension for each other. The accrual of this starts from the moment that the previous relationship ended. However, to be entitled to a partner’s pension, you do need to record those agreements with a notary. Your new partner will then be entitled to a partner’s pension over the pension accrued after the end of the previous relationship. If you decide to get married, you will then also automatically be entitled to old-age pension. You can also make specific arrangements about this or about the partner’s pension. The entitlement to a partner’s pension, however, only concerns the period in which you are married.

Another situation is, of course, possible. If you had a partner prior to your relationship, but your new partner did not, you are entitled to partner’s pension over a longer period. You are no longer entitled to old-age pension because that entitlement is always limited to the marital period. If the two of you don’t mind this difference, then of course that’s fine. If you want to agree a different distribution with a notary, you can, of course, always do that. If you do not opt for marriage or a registered partnership, make sure you make proper arrangements about the old-age pension, make agreements about the partner’s pension in a cohabitation contract, and register your partner with TNO Pension Fund using this form, which is also available under ‘Documents’ on our website.

Depending on your exact agreements and arrangements, you may therefore be eligible for part of your former partner’s old-age and partner’s pension that was accrued during your marriage or official cohabitation.

What are your automatic entitlements as former partner or as new partner if you don’t arrange anything?

It’s also possible that you don’t have a cohabitation contract and you’re not married, or are not in a registered partnership but you do have a partner.

You partner will then not be registered with TNO Pension Fund. Whether you are aware of this or not, you are then entirely financially independent from your partner. You are then not entitled to anything if you separate or if your partner or former partner dies. You each accrue your own old-age pension and partner’s pension and in the event of your death these go to the pension fund. Your partner or former partner has no entitlement to these.

The advantage is that you do not give an entitlement to your old-age pension or partner’s pension to someone you may regret arranging this for. So if your relationship ends, your former partner is not entitled to part of your old-age pension or partner’s pension. You can give that entitlement to your new partner if you wish, provided you make the necessary arrangements.

Of course, it could also be that you just stay together and that one of you dies before the other. By making arrangements for this, you’re taking care of each other. Because if you don’t make any arrangements you are not entitled to partner’s pension.

Whatever you choose, it’s important that you assess your financial situation. Don’t only look at the situation now, but also consider the future when you retire. Will you have enough income then? If not, see whether there are ways to supplement your future income or reduce your future expenditure.

What will your children or step-children receive?

As well as an old-age pension and partner’s pension, with the TNO Pension Fund’s pension scheme you also accrue orphan’s pension. If you die, your partner will receive a partner’s pension and the children will receive an orphan’s pension until they are 21. However, this also only applies if you make agreements about this with a notary.

And your step-children? They can only receive an orphan’s pension if you officially recognize your new partner’s children. If you do this they, like your own children, will also be eligible for an orphan’s pension.

Bits of pension everywhere: how much do you have?

If you have a former partner and a new partner, you will probably be entitled to part of the old-age and partner’s pension of various partners. But how much is that all together? After all, these are all different bits of pension.

The best thing you can do is check When you log in with your DigiD, you will be taken to your personal pension pages from the government. You can see there where all your pension entitlements are accrued. Your state pension (AOW) is also stated there. This gives you an impression of how much pension you will receive. But is that enough? That’s an important question. As well as AOW and pension you accrued via your employer or via your former partner’s employer, you can of course also arrange a pension yourself. For example, with an annuity or bank savings.

What to do when things get tough financially Contact the Social Personnel Fund (SPF).

In summary: you need to arrange the following

Firstly, you need to decide for yourself to what degree you think it is important to be financially independent and/or you wish to financially provide for your partner (and their children) when you pass away. In other words, would you also like to provide for your partner or would you like to agree on something else together?

If this is the case, then it is important to document your agreements in the terms of your cohabitation agreement, marriage, or registered partnership with a notary.

Please remember to register your partner with the pension fund if you have entered into a cohabitation agreement together and wish to arrange a partner’s pension for each other.

Please also make sure that you have recognized your new partner’s children. This is the only way that your new partner’s children can be entitled – until they reach the age of 21 – to the orphan’s pension that TNO pension fund’s scheme provides for, if the circumstances for this apply.

Please make sure that you know what your rights and the legal regulations are, so that you don't have any unpleasant surprises. It may be rather complex at times.

If you and your partner break up, then you can record your agreements in a divorce settlement. Please see the Rijksoverheid (Dutch central government) website for more information on old-age pension following divorce.

Additionally, a number of things will change in the near future. As of 1 July 2022, the ‘wet Verevening pensioen’ (equalization of pension rights act) will enter into effect. Read Geldwijzer’s article for more information or use this Geldwijzer tool to view what the developments are.