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Commission requests Belgium to pay pensions directly to bank accounts where beneficiaries reside

A woman holding a bank card in front of a computer screen © Marina Dyakonova, under license of

The European Commission has requested Belgium to end complex procedures for paying pensions to beneficiaries residing in another EU country.

By refusing to pay pensions directly to a bank account and using cross border payments, Belgian pensions beneficiaries in 19 EU countries suffer delayed access to their pension, as well as disproportionate costs and other inconveniences. This contravenes the EU right to move freely to and receive their pension in another EU country.

The request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures. Belgium has two months to inform Commission of measures it has taken to bring its legislation into line with EU law. Otherwise the Commission may decide to refer Belgium to the EU's Court of Justice.

To export pensions to another EU country, the EU Regulation on social security coordination (Regulation 883/2004) ensures that the transfer of cash benefits payable under the legislation of one or more EU countries cannot be reduced in any way just because the recipient lives in another EU country.