When do I qualify for a pension paid by the Federal Pensions Service?
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You qualify for a
retirement pension if you were a salaried person in the private sector in Belgium or abroad for an employer established in Belgium.
Those who work in Belgium in a 'detached' capacity don't become part of the Belgian social security system, they remain part of the social security system of the country from which they are sent to Belgium.
By employee we mean those who work under the terms of a labour contract for an employer in the private sector, i.e. workers, office workers, miners, contractual civil servants (as opposed to statutory civil servants), seafarers, professional journalists and civil aviation crews, etc.
If the person whom you
divorced was employed in a similar capacity during the marriage you, the former spouse, are equally entitled to a pension.
If you are the surviving spouse of such a salaried person you qualify for a
If you are voluntary or legally separated from such a salaried person, you may claim part of the retirement pension from which your spouse benefits or could benefit at the age of 65 providing all banned professional activities are stopped.
At what age can I retire?
For men and women the retirement
pension, as well as the pension as a divorced person, becomes effective the 1st day of the month following the 65th birthday. In other words: if your 65th birthday is in November, your retirement starts on December 1st. Do take into account that retirement at 65 is no longer compulsory: provided your employer agrees, you can work beyond that normal retirement age.
You can retire earlier, at the earliest the month following your 60th birthday, providing the total career (salaried person + self-employed + civil servant) in Belgium and in countries that have such an agreement with Belgium, is sufficiently long: i.e. 44 career years.
Early retirement (i.e. before 65) is also possible with
- 43 career years, at the age of 61;
- 42 career years, at the age of 63.
Moreover, you must have performed at least one third of a full-time employment during each of these years of employment.
To benefit from a
survivor's pension you have to be at least 47 years old, unless you:
- are at least 66% permanently disabled;
- have charge of a child;
- are the widow of a miner who worked underground for at least 20 years.
Should you fail to meet the age condition, you are entitled to a transitional benefit for:
- 1 year, when you do not have charge of a child;
- 2 years, when you do have charge of a child.
As voluntary or legally separated spouse, you can claim part of your spouse’s retirement pension at any age.
miners, seafarers and members of civil aviation flight crews special rules apply for the retirement age:
- Born before 1957: 60 at the earliest.
- Born after 1956: same pension age as other employees. To meet career conditions maximum 3 fictitious years are added, 80 days at sea yielding a supplementary fictitious year. In other words 240 days at sea yield 3 supplementary fictitious years.
These fictitious years are only taken into account for the career conditions, and are not used for the calculation of the pension.
- surface miners: at 60
- underground miners:
- born before 1957: pension age is 55 if the miner can prove 25 career years as underground miner;
- born after 1956:
- at least 20 career years as underground miner on 31st December 2011: pension age remains 55 years, or 25 career years;
- less than 20 career years: the pension will be calculated like that of any employee.
- civil aviation flight crews: at 55 years or at any age after 34 years of normal and primary employment as a member of a cabin crew or after 30 years employment as member of a pilot crew. New condiitions:
- 31 December 2011: anyone meeting the basic conditions on this date can retire early at any moment, despite more stringent rules being in place;
- 31 December 2012:
- Anyone meeting the basic conditions on this date keeps this possibility but his pension will be calculated in a different way.
- For anyone not meeting the age or career conditions on this date, the pension age is 65. The years with normal and primary employment before this date are multiplied by 1,5 (pilot crews) and 1,3 (cabin crews) which will help them reach the career condition faster.