Belgium’s new government wants to raise minimum pensions to €1,500
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Belgium’s new government wants to raise minimum pensions to €1,500

Credit: Belga

The new government intends to gradually increase minimum pensions to €1,500 net for a full career of 45 years.

For several weeks now, the measure carried by the left wing of the future government has been the subject of fierce debate among the new liberal, socialist, green and Christian democrat coalition. Now, the measure is included in the government agreement reached on Wednesday.

The amount will be reduced in proportion to the difference between the career and 45 years, in the event of an incomplete career.

The negotiators also agreed on the introduction of a part-time pension, a measure which had been considered by former Prime Minister Charles Michel’s government. This will not replace existing measures such as end-of-career time credit or early retirement.

The new measure will be accessible to all workers (employees, self-employed and civil servants) who meet conditions that are yet to be defined.

In the scheme for the self-employed, the correction coefficient which is used to calculate their pensions will be abolished so that the self-employed will build up a pension in the same way as employees.

The government will also introduce a pension bonus, with people who work longer accumulating more pension rights.

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The new Minister for Pensions will have to present a detailed reform proposal by 1 September 2021 to ensure the financial and social sustainability of the system.

The reform will include a minimum career period of 30 years for obtaining a minimum pension and an effective employment condition to be determined. Solidarity between the highest and lowest pensions will also have to be strengthened.

The new government also aims to further generalise the second pillar of pensions. The social partners will be invited to consider how each employee can be covered by a supplementary pension scheme with a contribution of at least 3% of gross pay.

Finally, the procedure for monitoring compliance with the residence condition by beneficiaries of the income guarantee for the elderly will be evaluated.

The Brussels Times