Early retirement age raised from 58 to 60

11th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 October 2005, BRUSSELS — Just days after a national strike, the federal government agreed on Monday to raise the minimum age workers can take early retirement from 58 to 60 starting in 2008.

11 October 2005

BRUSSELS — Just days after a national strike, the federal government agreed on Monday to raise the minimum age workers can take early retirement from 58 to 60 starting in 2008.

In addition, workers will only be able take early retirement after 30 years of employment, newspaper 'De Tijd' reported on Tuesday.

In 2012, the minimum requirement to qualify for early retirement will be set at 35 years of employment.

Currently, regulations allow the public to take an early pension at the age of 58 after 25 years of employment history. 

The long-awaited reforms to the Belgian social security and early retirement system will now be lodged in Parliament for approval.

Despite the union-led national strike on Friday in protest against the plans, a deal was not reached with the nation's unions and as previously warned, the government will now proceed alone with its reforma agenda, broadcaster VRT reported.

However, the government's social partners, namely unions and employers, will study the plan on Tuesday and consult with their members about further action.

And a series of exceptions have already been built into the new, stricter regulations.

These exceptions will allow workers in heavy or very demanding professions to take early retirement at the age of 56 following 33 years of employment.

Unions and employers are to agree on a list of labour intensive activities that are to qualify for the exceptions.

The exceptions will apply to heavy professions, existing labour agreements and workers with a long career history.

Initially, the government wanted to make the long career history 40 years, but in an important concession to union ACV, agreed to gradually lift it to only 38 years.

However, the government will keep an important card up its sleeve: in 2011, the High Council for Employment will assess the reforms.

If the percentage of workers aged 50 or older does not come closer to the European average, the minimum requirement for early retirement will be raised to 40 years.

A second evaluation will follow in 2013. If that assessment is negative again, the exceptions granted for people with a long working history will be scrapped entirely.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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