100 years of group insurance in Belgium - AG Employee Benefits
100 years of group insurance in Belgium

Published on 25/06/2019


100 years of group insurance in Belgium


This year, group insurance in Belgium is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Right from the beginning, AG Insurance has always positioned itself as a pioneer in the sector. Below are some of the highlights of this history.


In 1919, piggybacking on similar initiatives from Equitable Life in the USA, AG Vie was the first insurer in Belgium to market group insurance specifically to employees.


The 1920s marked the creation of the statutory pension. Interestingly, group insurance actually pre-dates our state pension. What we refer to as the "second pillar" for employees is actually the first pillar, in terms of chronological order.


In 1930, AG Insurance called for stricter control of insurance companies in order to further protect plan participants: "Trust in Expertise", knowledge and trust, were already two of AG's core values.


In the 1960s, AG Insurance survivedmarket liberalisation and competition from foreign insurers in Belgium.


In 1990, the Barber decree eliminated discriminatory differences between men and women in group insurance benefits.


In the 1990s, defined contribution (DC) plans were introduced for the first time. Under the pressure of an ageing population and falling interest rates, this type of plan has grown increasingly popular.


In 1993, AG Insurance began offering its first Branch 23 group insurance solutions. This new opportunity provided the sector with more options to diversify its offer.


In 2003, the Law on Supplementary Pensions (LSP) came into effect. It set requirements for insurance companies and employers offering 2nd pillar supplementary pensions for salaried employees.


In 2004, the employer-guaranteed minimum return was introduced, in compliance with the LCP. Later, in 2016, the guaranteed minimum return became a variable rate, with a minimum of 1.75% guaranteed. AG then went on to bring additional Branch 23 solutions to market such as cash balance plans.


AG Insurance began to invest in sustainable development. For example, in 2009, AG took on a leading role in the large-scale "Scholen van Morgen (Schools of Tomorrow)" initiative to build and/or renovate 182 schools in Flanders. Through this partnership, AG has truly come full circle, supporting all age categories from children to retirees


In 2013, AG not only reported the ROI for the past year but also, for the first time, the total minimum net return for the next two years. And we continue to do the same today.


As of January 2015, requests to set up a new pension plan will be denied if they feature a distinction between blue collar and white collar staff. Effective 1 January 2025, all discriminatory differences between blue collar and white collar staff members in group insurance plans must be eliminated.


In 2016, AG launched its digital platform My Global Benefits. This secure web-based resource provides participating staff members with a complete overview of their corporate-sponsored pension and healthcare plans they benefit from through their employer.


In 2016, the government launched its new Mypension.be portal. This platform consolidates all the information about statutory and supplementary pensions in Belgium in one single place. Since 2017, Belgians can now estimate the size of their future pension via Mypension.be.


The Portability Directive applies as from 1/1/2019. The aim is to remove possible obstacles when it comes to the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights.


Start of a new century of group insurance at AG Employee Benefits: Heidi Delobelle takes over as Managing Director.


For the past 100 years, AG insurance has been a pioneer in its sector. All the more reason for us to start off the next 100 years in the history of group insurance in Belgium with big ambitions. Find out more about our vision for the future of AG Employee Benefits & Health Care in the interview with our new managing director, Heidi Delobelle.​