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Pension reform under way to make early retirement more accessible
Pension reform is in the works as federal pension minister Karine Lalieux (PS) has submitted her package of proposals. Should they be approved, all Belgians will be able to claim an early pension from the age of 60 if they have worked for 42 years. If they work longer, they will be eligible for a bonus.
The new flexible retirement age policy is more ambitious than the current pension scheme, whereby to retire at 60 you'd need 44 years of work under your belt. To retire at 61 or 62, you'd need to have fulfilled a 43-year career, and to retire at 63 you'd need 42 years.
“People who did not take part in higher education, who started working very young, often in arduous jobs and who have a shorter life expectancy, must work longer before taking early retirement,” said Lalieux (pictured). “We are putting an end to this social injustice.”
Aware of the importance of keeping people in employment longer to guarantee the sustainability of the system, the minister also offers two “positive incentives” to those who will continue to work beyond the 42 years: a pension bonus or a part-time pension, which would be offered to those who cut down their hours.
Another proposal in the package include the guarantee of a minimum pension for anyone who turns pension age and has worked the equivalent of 10 years full time. This would allow anyone who has worked part time for most of their career – very often the case for women with children – to receive at least the minimum pension.
The proposal will be now be sent to the chamber for parliamentary debate.
Photo: ©Benoit Doppagne/BELGA