Brexit and Belgian Pensions


If you live in the UK and you receive a pension from the Service Fédéral des Pensions, you may have received a letter to say from 1 January 2021 the rules concerning social and tax deductions to be deducted from Belgium pensions will change for people living in the United Kingdom.

This is correct, until the end of the year, the UK is part of the EU.

One of the basic rules of the EU Regulation coordinating the social security regimes of the EU Member States is that social security is only due in one EU Member State, and that is the Member State of your residence. 

This rule stopped the Belgian Pensions Office and any Belgian pension fund from charging social security on your pension.

From January, they will be withholding social security as well as tax on your pension, if applicable.

Generally speaking, the solidarity contribution is 2% and the AMI contribution (“assurance maladie invalidité”) is 3.55%. However, the full contributions are only due if all your pensions in Belgium and abroad are more than a certain threshold (these are figures per month), see here (the figures are a bit higher if you are married).

AMI contribution 
< €1,597
€1,597 – €1,656
> €1,656
€0 – €58.77
Solidarity contribution 
< €2,646
€2,646 – €2,962
> 2,962
about 1-1.5%

If you have a pension over €36,000, the social security will effectively be 5.55%.

The only good thing is that the Belgian tax on your pension will be calculated on your pension after deduction of these social security contributions. If you pay about 40% tax the net cost should be about 3.33% of your pension.

You may think that it seems stupid to pay social security in a country where you are not a resident.

You cannot look at it like that. It seems stupid as well to pay tax in a country where you are not a resident, but you do not have a choice. Each country decides on which income they charge social security contributions and tax. That could result in double social security contributions and double taxation. The EU Regulation and double tax treaties take care of that.

Does this mean that you are covered in Belgium for health care and disability?

When you have a Belgian pension and pay Belgian social security, you can register with a mutuelle, and have the benefit of healthcare in Belgium.

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