Retire part-time from 2020

The Pensions Minister Daniel Bacquelaine (Francophone liberal) has announced that from 2020 at latest it will be possible for people in Belgium to retire part time. The Federal Cabinet has agreed to measures, giving the green light for the drafting of a bill that will make it possible to carry on working part-time (50%), while receiving 50% of the pension that they would have received if they had retired.   

The measure that Mr Bacquelaine announced in an interview with the Francophone ‘Sudpresse’ newspaper on Saturday doesn’t come as a surprise as it appeared in the Minister’s policy statement when the current Federal Government took office in 2014.

The plan has been discussed at various levels and Mr Bacquelaine says that his proposals are designed to meet the needs of those that “want to take things easier and don’t feel able to carry on working full time”. Those that wish to will be able to take part time retirement from the age of 60, providing that they meet the criteria for early retirement.

However, in practice from 2020 the lion’s share of those meet these criteria will be 63 or older. “You will carry on working half time and be paid accordingly, but you will also be given half your pension”, Mr Bacquelaine explained. Furthermore “As you will still be working, you will also still be contributing towards your pension. Each year worked half time will count for half a year”.   

The Pensions Minister hopes that the Federal Parliament will vote on the measures before the end of legislature so that they can be put in place by January 2020 at the latest. Mr Bacquelaine. If the opposition cooperates the new system could be in place as early as next June.

The former Pensions Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Flemish liberal) supports the proposal. “We support the proposal as is fits in with the principles of workable work. People can stay in work for longer at a pace that suits them and that’s a good thing for all concerned”, Mr Van Quickenborne said.