Famifed, the federal family allowance agency began taking a final bow at the federal level on Tuesday. The agency will be gradually replaced by the federated entities as decided following the Sixth State Reform. This will be implemented in Flanders and Wallonia in January 2019, followed in 2020 by Brussels.
In Flanders, the former employees of Famifed will work for Fons, the new family allowance fund, which will be in charge of paying out the “Groeipakket” – child allowance.
In Wallonia, the reform will be implemented in two phases. The new Famiwal public fund will be launched on 1 January 2019, but the new family allowance system will only apply from January 2020.
Finally, the Ministry for the German-speaking Community will pay out its first family allowances on 8 February 2019.
In Brussels, nothing will change for the moment. Famifed will continue to manage Brussels cases until 31 December 2019.
In 2017, Famifed and private funds paid out 6.5 billion euros in family allowances to 1.6 million families for 2.8 million children.
“Famifed has been fulfilling a social utility role since 1930 and the system is functioning well, but with this reform, we risk losing on solidarity” Tania Dekens, the agency’s director, said with a tinge of nostalgia. “Regions will close in on themselves and money will no longer circulate between entities.”