The Higher Council for Employment (CSE) is calling on the government to implement the pension reform “without delay” and not wait until 2030 to reach the threshold of 67 years for legal pensions, its annual report revealed on Thursday. For Federal Labour Minister Kris Peeters (CD&V), this will not be “straightforward”, the vice-premier fearing a lack of public support in the matter.
The Higher Employment Council has compared Belgium to several reference countries such as Germany, France, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries, which are characterised by extended careers and quality of employment.
The body has several positive points: between 80,000 and 100,000 jobs should be created in 2017 and 2018, the unemployment rate is falling everywhere and the number of companies created is rising sharply.
However, the employment rate is lagging behind and is at 67.7% among 20-24 year-olds, well below the target of 73.2% for 2020. The CSE is therefore recommending a series of measures to improve the situation and address the aging of the population.
In this context, the body wishes to delay the effective pension age by applying, as soon as possible, a points system – which provides that the pension is calculated on the basis of the number of points accumulated by citizens during their careers. The CSC does not want to wait until 2030 to apply the pension at age 67, as decided by the federal government, and has even set 2020 as an goal.
For the latter measure, however, Peeters said it would be difficult to obtain public approval in light of the oppositions that the decline in the retirement age has already generated.