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    Delays expected in pension buy-back for years of study

    © Belga
    The pension buy-back for years of study issue is currently “frozen”.
    © Belga

    The Pensions Minister, Daniel Bacquelaine (MR), announced at the end of 2016 that, from March 1st, Belgians would be able to “buy back” state pensions for their years of study. They would thus benefit from an increased pension upon retirement.

    De Morgen is reporting today (Tuesday) that this no longer on schedule. The Open Vld (Flemish Liberals and Democrats) and New Flemish Alliance are questioning the cost of the exercise.

    At the end of last year, the principle of pension buy-back for periods of study was approved but its actual application is still to be discussed. The Open Vld and the New Flemish Alliance fear that the cost of the policy will be shouldered by later generations.

    Both parties are requesting adjustments and the Federal Planning Bureau for Belgian Affairs has produced projections in this sphere.

    There is a possibility that the total buy-back amount will increase for those who are approaching pension age. Equally the number of years that an individual can buy back may be restricted.

    By the end of the week, the government will, once again, consider the matter and, without doubt, settle it. Next the bill will go before the Council of State and be debated in parliament.

    With carnival week looming, it is unlikely that the schedule fixed for March will be kept to. Government sources are saying that the date of the law’s application may be April 1st or May 1st.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times