Do you meet the requirements for entitlement to a pension in Belgium? If so, how should you apply for it and how can you collect your pension? Answers to all your questions are to be found on this page.

Have you worked in Belgium?

If you are an employee or a civil servant, you are entitled to a Belgian retirement pension from your first day of work.

If you are self-employed, you are entitled to a retirement pension once you have paid social contributions for your main occupation for one quarter.

To determine your pension (retirement or old age pension) as an employee or civil servant primarily the periods you have worked and the periods you have not worked (but are regarded as worked periods) are taken into account. More information about periods not worked but regarded as working periods can be found on the Federal Pension Service website (in French).

Self-employed persons can also request to have some of the periods they did not work to be taken into account for their pension (assimilation). More details on the page Which periods are counted for my pension of the INASTO website (in French).

More information about the calculation of the: 

Has your spouse or former spouse worked in Belgium?

If so, you may also be entitled to a benefit based on your spouse's or former spouse’s career.

Survivor's pension

A survivor's pension is a benefit for a person’s spouse after their death. It does not matter whether the deceased was already retired or not.

The amount depends on several factors, including the number of persons entitled to the benefit and/or their own pension rights.

Was your partner a salaried employee? Find more information on:

Was your partner self-employed? More information can be found on the INASTI website on the page about survivor's pension (in French) and the page about transitional benefit for self-employed persons (in French).

Pension for a divorced spouse

Under certain circumstances you are entitled to a retirement pension on the basis of your former spouse's career.

We calculate the retirement pension for a divorced spouse on the basis of the proven professional career of his or her former partner.

Pension for a separated spouse (on the basis of a career as an employed or self-employed person only)

You may be entitled to a pension for a separated spouse if you do not have the same main residence as your spouse or if you are legally separated.

You are entitled to a maximum of half of the family pension.

Has one of your parents worked as a civil servant in Belgium?

Orphan’s pension (on the basis of a career as a civil servant only)

Orphans, whether legitimate or adopted children, may be entitled to a civil service survivor's pension.

The amount of the survivor's pension for orphans is derived from the survivor's pension. If there are children from another marriage who are also entitled to the survivor's pension, the pension is shared between both groups of entitled children.

More information about the survivor's pension for orphans can be found on the FPS website (in French)

How to apply for your Belgian pension?

You have worked in Belgium, but now live in one of the following countries:

  • a country in the European Economic Area;
  • Switzerland;
  • a country with which Belgium has a bilateral agreement in matters of  social security

Please consult the list of countries of the European Economic Area and the countries with which Belgium has a bilateral agreement on the page with addresses of the FPS website (in French).

You must submit your pension application:

  • in the country where you live, provided that you have also worked there;
  • in the country where you last worked, if you have never worked in your country of residence.

If you do not live in one of the above countries, you can apply for your pension directly:

  • via (in French)
  • to the Federal Pension Service (Zuidertoren, Europaesplanade 1, Brussels): for the employed person’s or civil servant’s pension;
  • to the INASTI (National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-employed (Willebroekkaai 35, Brussels): for the self-employed person’s pension;
  • at a pension information point. Find a list of the nearest Pension points on the FPS website (in French).

How do I actually recieve my Belgian pension?

You can receive your pension in various ways.

Please note, you cannot receive your Belgian pension everywhere in the world if you are not Belgian.

You can find out everything you need to know about the Belgian pension abroad on the page Working and living abroad of the Federal Pension Service (in French).

The main residence is the place where a family or a single person usually lives. A family may consist of related persons (family members) and/or unrelated persons (e.g. friends, life partner, etc.).

How is the main place of residence determined?

The place where a person mainly resides is based on the factual situation. It is therefore the place where the family or the single person actually resides for most of the year. This is determined on the basis of various elements:

  • the place you go to after work
  • the place where your children go to school
  • energy consumption and telephone costs
  • the place of habitual residence of your spouse or other members of your family
  •  …

It is not enough to intend to reside in a particular place. Your main residence must be the place where you actually reside. Conversely, once you have established your main residence somewhere, you cannot be prevented by anyone else from registering that address as your main residence. Not even you can do that.

How your main place of residence is established

Your main place of residence is established on the basis of an enquiry. The way in which enquiries are made is established by your local municipality. Usually it means a local police officer visiting you to see whether you actually live at the designated address.

After your main place of residence has been established

Once enquiries have been made into whether your main residence is in a certain municipality and this has been established to be the case, your name will be entered in that municipality’s population register.

Municipalities are not allowed to refuse to register someone because the housing they are in is unsafe or unhealthy, or for planning reasons. Municipalities cannot refuse to register someone because the place where they are living is considered to be unsafe or unhealthy, or because their housing cannot be used as a main residence for any other reason (e.g. it is a weekend cottage, on a camp site, etc.). In that case, the person in question will only be provisionally registered. The municipality can then initiate administrative or legal proceedings to put an end to the irregular situation.

More information about main residence on the page Municipality's population register of the responsible FPS (in French).