If an employee is employed abroad, this may have consequences in the field of social insurance. Often, the social insurance system in the country of employment applies. Not only national social insurance legislation plays a role in determining an employee’s liability for contributions. International regulations, treaties and rules also play a substantial role in determining the country in which the employee has social insurance cover.
European Union/EEA and Switzerland
International regulations in the field of social insurance apply between the EU Member States and the affiliated states of the European Economic Area (EEA): Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as Switzerland. The main international regulations within the EU/EEA and Switzerland are EEC Regulation No. 1408/71 and Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004, which replaced it. Among other things, these Regulations describe rules for determining the applicable legislation. This avoids an employee having social insurance cover in more than one country, or no social insurance cover at all. Exterus advises on and provides support with determining employees’ contribution obligations.
Outside the European Union
The European Regulation does not apply for postings to a non-EU/EEA country. However, the Netherlands has contracted a number of bilateral social insurance treaties with various countries. Where the employee has social insurance cover must be determined on the basis of the applicable social insurance treaty.
With postings to non-treaty countries, such as Asian, African and many South American countries, the social insurance position is determined by the national legislation. As a result, partial, double or no social insurance obligations may arise. Depending on the facts and circumstances, the employee may retain social insurance cover in the Netherlands or the Netherlands will withdraw in order to avoid double social insurance charges. Exterus advises on and provides support with determining employees’ contribution obligations.
In addition to the statutory social insurance and employee contributions, an employee can contract voluntary insurance to compensate the negative consequences of other social insurance systems.
If the employee does not remain compulsorily insured under the Dutch social insurance system, he or she may opt to continue contributions under the Dutch General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW) and the Surviving Dependants Act (ANW) on a voluntary basis. This avoids a reduction in AOW benefits, in proportion to time, for the duration of the foreign posting. Voluntary insurance is possible for a maximum period of ten years.
In certain situations, if certain conditions are met, voluntary insurance is also possible for employee insurances. For example, the employer must be registered in the Netherlands and the term of the posting may not exceed five years. If an employee wishes to continue insurance on a voluntary basis, a request must be submitted to the Social Insurance Bank and/or the UWV. We advise on and provide support with the possibilities for voluntary continuation of insurance when employees are posted abroad.
Planning and advice
If an employee is employed abroad, in principle, the social insurance legislation of the country of employment applies. However, if the applicable conditions are met, the employee may still retain social insurance cover in the country of domicile. Exterus offers both employers and employees support and advice in relation to the application of the most beneficial social insurance systems during international employment. With timely planning or advice, the most efficient and cheapest options can be explained and applied.