This chapter tells you what you need to know in order to claim a pension and other old-age benefits in Belgium.
If you have worked and paid old-age insurance contributions in another European Union country, your period of work and the contributions you have paid can be taken into account in the calculation of the amount of your pension.
In what situation can I claim?
Every person who has worked either as a paid employee, a self-employed person or a public sector employee in Belgium has a right to a retirement pension at the end of their career.
What conditions do I need to meet?
In Belgium the legal pension age is set at:
- 65 years for those retiring on or before 31 January 2025;
- 66 years for those retiring between 1 February 2025 and 31 January 2030 inclusive;
- 67 years for those retiring on or after 1 February 2030
However, all individuals can receive an early retirement pension, if certain age and career conditions are met. From 1 January 2019 onwards, recipients have to be at least 63 years of age and have 42 years of service.
There are exceptions for long careers; pension can be taken at 60 for those with 44 years of service, and 61 for those with 43 years of service.
Depending on the profession, there are 3 pension regimes in force:
- For employees, the amount of the pension is calculated based on three parameters: the length of the professional career, the remuneration received during the career and the family circumstances. More information is available on the website of the Federal Pensions Service (SFP) : http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr or at https://www.socialsecurity.be/;
- For self-employed workers the parameters which come into play are identical to those used in the regime for salaried workers (career, remuneration and family circumstances). However certain aspects are different. More information is available on the website of the National Insurance Institute for the Self-employed (INASTI) and at https://www.socialsecurity.be/;
- For civil servants the pension regime is different from that for employees. The earnings obtained throughout the career are not taken into consideration, but a reference salary is used which corresponds to the average of the last 10 years' salary for the public servant who was not aged 50 as at 1 January 2012. More information is available on the website of the Federal Pensions Service (FPS) : http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr and at https://www.socialsecurity.be/.
It is possible for you to resume or pursue professional activities as a pensioner. However there are certain requirements which you have to meet. For more detailed information please refer to the Federal Pensions Service website (SFP): http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
The pension for employees is calculated in relation to the length of insurance, earnings on which contributions have been paid (within the ceiling limit) and the family circumstances of the pensioner. It is based on the following formulae (S = the reference salary)
- For a single person or a married person without a dependent spouse: S x 60% x length of period of insurance / 45;
- For a married person with a dependent spouse: S x 75% x length of period of insurance / 45.
Other benefits, linked to pensions, may be provided for the elderly:
- the heating allowance granted to retired miners (€ 33.02 per year): it is awarded for each year of work completed in the mines with a maximum of 30 years (maximum € 990.60);
- a holiday allowance and supplementary holiday allowance: the holiday allowance is granted annually to recipients of an old-age pension for the month of May in the current year. The allowance is a flat-rate amount and depends on the type of pension.
Whether you are an employee, self-employed or civil servant, you can submit your pension application
- to the municipal administration of your place of residence;
- by going to a Pointpension of the Federal Pension Service;
If you live in another EU Member State, you must send your application to the local pension institution in that State.
To avoid delays in the processing of your case, you are advised to submit your application at the earliest 1 year before reaching retirement age.
There are two ways in which you can receive your pension. It can be paid either by postal order, which can be sent to you at home, or by transfer into a post office or bank account in your name.
- Holiday allowance: benefit paid by the SPF to pensioners having previously worked as employees or permanently appointed civil servants..
- SFP: Federal Pensions Fund (Service fédéral des pensions). Public social security institution responsible for administering old-age and survivor's pensions for salaried workers and public sector pensions. http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr.
- INASTI: National Insurance Institute for the self-employed (Institut national d'assurances sociales pour travailleurs indépendants). A public social security institution, INASTI administers pensions for self-employed workers. http://www.inasti.be/fr.
Know your rights
The links below allow you to find out more about your rights. These sites are not dependent upon the European Commission and so do not represent the viewpoints of the latter;
- The website of the Federal Pensions Service
- The website of the Federal Public Service for Social Security
- Information from the FGTB trade union: http://www.fgtb.be/
- Information from the CSC trade union
- Information from the CGSLB trade union
Commission publication and websites:
Who do you need to contact?
If you are employed or a civil servant: the Federal Pensions Service (SFP)
- Free phone number from Belgium: 1765
- Chargeable number from abroad: +32 78151765
- Address: Tour du Midi – Esplanade de l’Europe 1 - 1060 Brussels
- Website: http://www.sfpd.fgov.be/fr
If you are self-employed: the National Insurance Institute for the Self-employed (INASTI)
- Telephone: +32 25464211
- Address: Quai de Willebroeck 35 - 1000 Brussels
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.inasti.be/fr