The amount of statutory pensions in Belgium is very low in comparison with that of neighbouring countries. “This gap is likely to widen further with the new measures taken by the Michel government”, said Kim De Witte, PTB’s pension specialist, who conducted a study on the subject.
In order to calculate the gap between Belgium and its neighbours, the opposition party’s study service was based on a specific case, that of a 63-year-old worker who worked for 40 years and earned 45,000 euros gross per year at the end of his career.
If this man were to retire in 2017, his gross pension in Belgium would be 1,195.48 euros per month, according to PTB calculations.
The left-wing party therefore points out that a worker who has “worked exactly the same number of years and who has earned exactly the same amount of money” will receive a legal pension of 9% more in Germany, 40% more in France and 48% more in Luxembourg. “Rather than strengthening the system of statutory pensions, the Michel government continues to dismantle it”, deplored Kim De Witte, whose party offers to invest another 3 billion euros to raise legal pensions. This amount would be deducted from the six to eight billion euros that a millionaire’s tax would bring, i.e. a tax on fortunes of more than one million euros, he explains.
Former pension minister and expert Frank Vandenbroucke (sp.a) warns in Het Laatste Nieuws about the risk of drawing hasty conclusions about this study. “This is a situation which requires attention, but we must also look at our system for low-income people and those who have been ill for a long time,” he said.