10.19.100 Belgian Glossary

Introduction

This section contains a list of terms used in and applicable to the Agreement with Belgium.

Belgian Insurance Agency/Belgian Insurance Agencies

There are a number of semi-public insurance institutions, involved in delivering Belgian pensions and associated payments. The more important ones of these are (followed by Dutch & French acronyms respectively):

Belgian Invalidity Pension/Invalidity Pension

Invalidity pension as such is not paid during the initial period of 'primary incapacity for work'; during that period, 'sickness benefit' is paid (to a person who is no longer able to work as a result of an illness or an accident).

A person's period of invalidity starts after one year of 'primary incapacity for work'; to qualify, requires 6 months of insurance, including 120 days of actual or credited work and insurance coverage during the last quarter (prior to the 'primary incapacity for work')

Belgian Old-Age/Old-Age Pension

Old-age pension can be paid to both men and women, even if still in employment (although income from employment can affect the pension rate).

In order to qualify for a FULL old-age pension, a man must have 45 years of insurance and be 65 years of age. The same requirement is being phased in for women. In the meantime, the retirement age for women is rising from 63 (2003) to 64 (2006) and 65 (2009). Full benefits for women in these intervening years are based on 43, 44 and 45 years of insurance respectively.

'Anticipated pension' (early retirement) is available from age 60 for both men and women. A minimum of 35 years of insurance is required. Payment rates are reduced significantly. Australian working life residence can be used to totalise for this.

'Minimum pension' is also available.

'Special old-age pension' can be paid to a divorced husband or wife, from age 60 onwards.

Belgian Pension/Belgian Pensions

Belgian contributory pensions payable under the Agreement are:

  • Old-age pension,
  • Survivor's pension, and
  • Invalidity pension.

Rates are adjusted periodically for inflation - in recent times around once a year.

Belgian Pensions - Payability Abroad

Prior to 1 July 2005, Belgian contributory pensions were payable as follows:

Rule Citizenship requirement Pension Type Payability Abroad
1
  • Belgian citizens, stateless persons, UN refugees,
  • citizens of another member country of the European Economic Area (EEA) - i.e. the 25 European Union (EU) member States, as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (as at mid 2005), and
  • citizens of Belgium's Agreement countries.
Old-age or Survivors' pension Payable anywhere in the world.
2 Widows/widowers (irrespective of their own citizenship) of: Survivors' pension Payable anywhere in the world.
3 Irrespective of citizenship Old-age or Survivors' pension Payable when legally resident in an EU member State country (excluding Denmark).
4 Irrespective of citizenship Old-age or Survivors' pension in respect of work as a miner Payable, but only at 80% (of entitlement).
Belgian Survivors' Pension/Survivors' Pension

This pension is paid to widows or widowers age 45+ (any age, however, if disabled or caring for a child) and married for at least one year at the time of the insured's death; conditions are waived if a child was born during marriage or in the case of an accidental death.

Family Member

Means any person defined or accepted as a member of the family (or household) by Belgian social security law.

Insurance Period

For Belgium, means any period recognised as such (or equivalent thereof) under Belgian legislation, i.e. where a person has accumulated social security insurance coverage in Belgium.

For Australia, means a period of Australian working life residence.

Legislation

Means the Acts that make up social security law in relation to Australian age pension and Australian DSP. It also applies, mainly in Part II of the Agreement, to the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992, the Superannuation Guarantee Charge Act 1992, and the Superannuation (Administration) Regulations.

Pension

Means a social security benefit, pension or allowance from either country (including any additional amount, increase, or supplement).

Period of Australian Working Life Residence

Means a period of Australian working life residence as defined in the SS(IntAgree)Act, but excludes a period deemed to be a period of Australian residence under Article 16 of the Agreement.

Residence

For Belgium, means a person's usual place of residence.

Last reviewed: 4 January 2016