The Netherlands and China Sign Social Security Treaty

Posted on 11th January, 2016

Estimated reading time 3 minutes

On 12 September 2016, a social security treaty between The Netherlands and China was signed.  The treaty will probably become effective sometime in 2017.  This treaty does not cover all social security schemes of The Netherlands and China.

Employees from The Netherlands

Under the new treaty, employees of The Netherlands who are seconded to China can remain subject to a part of the Dutch social security schemes for a maximum period of, in principle, 60 months.  The schemes the employee can continue in the Netherlands are:  The general Old Age Pensions Act  (AOW), the Surviving Dependents Act (ANW) and the Unemployment Insurance Act (WW). Family members who accompany the employee can remain insured in the Netherlands under the AOW and the ANW.  However, if the family member works in China as an employee or a self employed person, the insurance in the Netherlands will be cancelled.

If requested, a Certificate of Coverage can be issued by the Social Insurance Bank stating that an employee is insured in the Netherlands.  However, this will not prevent the employee from becoming subject to certain Chinese social security schemes.

In particular, the employees (and their family members) who are seconded to China, have to make sure that they have international health insurance, since the Dutch National Health Insurance (ZVW) will not continue during their stay in China.

Employees from China

Employees from China who are seconded to The Netherlands will become partially insured under the Dutch social security schemes.  The Chinese Certificate of Coverage will be issued so that the employee remains subject to the Basic Old Age Insurance for Employees and Unemployment Insurance in China.  Chinese employers therefore will still owe the contributions for the mandatory Dutch Health Insurance and Disability Insurance.  However, this probably will vary per region in China. 

Who is affected by the changes?

  • Dutch employees who are seconded to China.
  • Chinese employees who are seconded to The Netherlands.

What action should employers take?

Employers in China and The Netherlands with employees seconded to the other country should check how this treaty will affect the social security position of their seconded employees.

Further information

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Nico van Dijk ( on +31 10 22 46 345.



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