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Reforms of the pension age regime

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
In Belgium several measures have been taken to increase the actual age at retirement. / / 1. Between 1997 and 2009, the female retirement age was gradually aligned with the male one. In 2009, the statutory pension scheme for women was aligned with that of men by raising the statutory retirement from 60 to 65 years and extending the length of working career to qualify for a full pension from 40 to 45 years. / / 2. Several early retirement systems that enabled workers to retire before the legal age of retirement have been reformed by tightening up access conditions. / / - In early retirement, entry age will be raised from 60 to 62 years and the required working career from 35 to 40 year, although longer careers give access as early as 60. From 2013 it will increase by six months every year until it reaches 62 in 2016. Normal retirement age remains 65 years. / - In the pre-pension system (?unemployment with company allowance?), the admission age will be gradually raised from 58 to 60 years and the required working career will be 40 years. In special regimes for restructuring and closing firms, the admission age can be lowered to 55 years. Employers are discouraged from resorting to pré-pensions by increasing employer?s contributions on the employers? supplements that are paid to former workers that exit the labour market on lower ages. The earlier the age of the recipient, the higher the contributions. /
Target group
Older Workers
Policy Field
  • wage
Type of Policy
  • public
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
By raising the effective retirement age closer to the statutory retirement age of 65 years, policy makers aim to increase the employment rate and reduce the fiscal burden of ageing.
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • encompassing security
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • leave schemes
Intended target group
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • central state
Intended output
  • leave schemes
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
According to the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) measures taken to restrict eligibility requirements for early retirement had their impact. The NBB estimates that the proportion of people in the 55-64 age group using these various schemes permitting an early exit from the labour market fell around 10 ppts in a decade (2000 vs 2011), to reach 39% of this age group1.
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