The long-awaited pension reform plan is here - AG Employee Benefits
Pension reform

Published on 25/07/2023


The long-awaited pension reform plan is here

​After all-night negotiations, key ministers of the Belgian federal government finally reached an agreement. The new plan complements measures announced in the pension package in July 2022 and includes additional measures. Read on for a summary of the main decisions.

  • A net pension bonus
    The July 2022 reform already included a pension bonus that rewards people for working beyond retirement age. It will be introduced on 1 January 2024 (with payouts in 2025 at the earliest) and will apply to salaried employees, self-employed workers and civil servants. The federal government has now decided that this bonus will be paid out in net rather than gross terms. The bonus can be collected upon retirement as a lump sum if the retiree selects this option. The bonus will increase progressively with each additional year worked, reaching a maximum of EUR 22,645 three years after the theoretical early retirement date. For employees with longer years of service, the pension bonus for each additional year worked will match the bonus awarded under the general scheme for the third additional year worked.

  • Lower rise in civil servants' pensions
    There will be a capping of the so-called “perequation". This is the mechanism that allows civil servants' pensions (retirement and survivor's pensions) to rise along with the salaries of actively employed civil servants. This increase will now be capped at 0.3% per year of the total civil servants' pension.

  • Access to the minimum pension
    The July 2022 reform introduced the condition of active employment to qualify for a minimum pension. It will be permanently locked in at 20 years, after a generous transition period. In addition, more non-worked periods will be taken into account. Maternity leave, breastfeeding leave, palliative care leave and officially recognised disability leave already count as qualifying periods. The federal government has now decided to add preventive prenatal maternity leave, converted maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, foster care leave, thematic leave, leave to support or care for a family member who is critically ill or for a disabled child under the age of 21, and temporary unemployment. Note, however, that the minimum pension will be calculated proportionally based on the number of days worked (and qualifying non-worked days).

  • Increase in "Wijninckx contribution"
    The Wijninckx contribution is a special social security contribution for supplementary pensions set up by companies for their executives*. The mechanism is triggered if, on 1 January of the year prior to the contribution year, the sum of the employee or executive's statutory pension and supplementary pension (converted into an annuity) is higher than the maximum statutory pension in the public sector, taking into account the number of years already served by the employee or executive.

    This maximum is known as the Wijninckx cap, named after the Minister of Pensions who introduced it. It amounts to EUR 93,760.79 gross per year, i.e. EUR 7,813.40 gross per month (applicable from 1 December 2022 at index 1.9999).

    If this amount is exceeded, a contribution representing
    3% of the increase in supplementary pension reserves in the year prior to the contribution year will be due. The federal government has decided to double this percentage from 3% to 6%, effective 1 January 2028.

*Also applicable to self-employed workers who save towards a supplementary pension for self-employed natural persons as per the Law of 18 February 2018 containing various provisions on supplementary pensions and introducing a supplementary pension for self-employed natural persons, assisting spouses and self-employed assistants


 The federal government has announced that all measures combined should reduce the cost of the ageing population by 0.5% of GDP by 2070. It now remains to be seen whether all this will be enough for the European Commission. 

Have questions about this agreement on pension reform? If so, feel free to get in touch with your regular ​contact person.