Belgium's effective retirement age lowest in all OECD countries

Belgium's effective retirement age lowest in all OECD countries
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The effective age at which Belgians retire in relation to the legal retirement age is the lowest of all OECD countries, according to the organisation's 2019 Pensions at a Glance report.

Belgium's legal retirement age is 65, and will increase to 66 in 2025, and further to 67 in 2030. However, the age at which Belgian people in 2018 effectively retired was, on average, 61.8, according to the report.

Of all the OECD countries, the effective retirement age was only lower in Slovakia (61.1 years), France (60.8 years) and Luxembourg (60.5 years) in 2018. However, in these three countries, the legal retirement age is also lower than in Belgium, at 62.5 years in Slovakia, 62 years in France, and anywhere between 57 and 65 in Luxembourg, depending on compulsory contributory periods.

The average statutory retirement age for all 36 OECD member states is 65.4 years, with an effective retirement age of 64.2 years.

This means that Belgians, on average, retire 3.2 years earlier than the statutory retirement age, compared to 1.4 years earlier in Slovakia, 1.2 years earlier in France and also 1.2 years in all OECD countries.

Belgium's low effective retirement age contributes to the fact that the life expectancy of Belgians after their retirement is at its highest. According to the OECD analysis, Belgium is in sixth place: on average, men still have 21.1 years left after their retirement, women still have 25.5 years.

However, older people rely on their statutory pension benefits more than in other countries. In Belgium, this represents 85% of the income of the over-65s, which is the highest percentage within the OECD. Work and capital (which also includes own pension savings) represent 8.9 and 6% of the income respectively.

As a result, pensioners in Belgium often make a slight reduction in their standard of living. The disposable income of pensioners amounts to an average of 79.7% of the income of the total population, while the OECD average is 87.4%.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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