Population: 64.1 million
Pension system design
The pension system in Belgium consists of three pillars:
- statutory pay-as-you-go financed public pension system
- non-obligatory by law, but quasi-mandatory occupational pensions
- private pension schemes
- employed, self-employed and civil servants are compulsorily insured under a statutory pension scheme
- Belgian state grants a minimum income for elderly people for every person older than 65 whose pension and other income is below a certain threshold
- pension income depends on preceding earnings, current income level and family status
- maximum pension benefit equals 60% of pensionable income for singles and 75% for married individuals
- pension calculations are subject to a ceiling (€ 54,648.70 in 2017), while employee’s and employers’ contributions are not, currently amounting 7.5% (employees) and 8.86% (employers)
The official retirement age is 65 years for men and women with a contribution record of at least 45 years from which at least 30 years must have been working years. Retirement at 62 is possible with a working time of at least 40 years.
- Occupational pension plans are provided mainly to white-collar employees:
- company schemes
- industry-wide schemes
- individual pension promises
- Industry-wide pensions schemes can be established as a result of collective bargaining between employer associations and the trade unions. Each industry can have just one pension scheme.
- Employers are obliged to join these schemes unless the collective agreement allows them to contract out.
- The collective agreement thus sets minimum standards for each sector, creating a highly competitive and professional pension market.
- Company pensions can be funded either through an insurance company or a self-administered pension fund; book-reserve (or unfunded) systems are not permitted
Private pension investments equivalent to: 5.8% of GDP (2015)
Private pension assets 2015: $ 25,956.7 million USD (all forms of private investment with a value associated to a pension plan over which ownership rights are enforced by institutional units, individually or collectively. This indicator is measured in millions of USD; source: OECD)
Pension funds’ assets 2015: $ 26,337.1 million USD (assets bought with the contributions to a pension plan for the exclusive purpose of financing pension plan benefits. The pension fund is a pool of assets forming an independent legal entity. This indicator is measured in millions of USD; source: OECD)
Net pension replacement rate 2014: 60.9% (individual net pension entitlement divided by net pre-retirement earnings; measures how effectively a pension system provides a retirement income to replace earnings. This indicator is measured in percentage of pre-retirement earnings by gender; source: OECD)
Federal Pensions Service of Belgium – http://www.onprvp.fgov.be
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – http://www.oecd.org
European Actuarial & Consulting Services – http://euracs.eu/summaries/belgium-pension-summary/