Introduction of a 10 year residence condition to benefit from the guaranteed income for elderly persons
An additional condition to discourage « social shopping »
At the suggestion of the Minister for Pensions, Daniel BACQUELAINE, the Council of Ministers has approved a draft bill which provides for the introduction of a minimum residence (in Belgium) condition to benefit from the guaranteed income for elderly persons. Reminder: this allowance is aimed at providing a minimum income to persons who are at least 65 years old and reside in Belgium. Some 105,000 persons benefit from it.
In real terms Minister BACQUELAINE’s draft bill will add a 10 year residence condition – taking up residence in Belgium 5 years of which uninterrupted - to the existing conditions for granting such benefits and this prior to the opening-up of rights pertaining to the guaranteed income for elderly persons.
This measure concerns all candidates – whether or not Belgian - who are potentially eligible for the guaranteed income for elderly persons and will be applicable as from 1st September 2017. Whether or not someone has an actual place of residence will be established on the basis of the information in the National Registry.
This measure strengthens the link beneficiaries of the guaranteed income for elderly persons are required to have with both Belgium and its social security system. In doing so, Belgium brings its policies into line with those adopted by several European countries.
The Minister for Pensions Daniel BACQUELAINE:
« The introduction of this measure must permit to put a halt to certain types of abuse in relation to a form of “social shopping”. Our country must provide a high degree of social protection to its citizens, but it is unacceptable that some take up residence in Belgium with the sole aim of taking advantage of our social security benefits. How is it possible that a person who has never lived or even never worked in Belgium can receive an allowance that is sometimes higher than the pensions of a lot of self-employed persons or employees who have paid social security contributions during their careers? »