Legal novelties are introduced in the Belgian occupational framework
On April 24, 2014 a new bill has been approved in the Chamber and Senate containing several novelties regarding occupational pensions.
The most important changes which will enter into force on January 1, 2016 can be summarized as follows:
1) A new uniform statute of limitations of 5 years applies for any occupational pension claims between an employee/self-employed individual/affiliated person/beneficiary on the one hand and the organizer/pension institution on the other hand.
The statute of limitations will start to run, either, as of the moment the concerned individuals are aware or should have reasonably been aware of the damages and the identity of the liable person, or, either as of the moment the incident which opens their rights occurs.
For beneficiaries, however, the statute of limitations will only start to run, either, as of the moment they are aware of (i) their capacity as beneficiary, (ii) the existence of an occupational pension plan and (iii) the event which will open their rights, or, either as of the moment they are aware of the damages and the identity of the liable person.
2) All affiliated individuals (active or passive) will have access to an online database (Sigedis DB2P database) containing accurate information regarding their occupational pensions.
3) As of the age of 45, each Belgian citizen will receive detailed information (by regular mail) with a simulation of his/her statutory and occupational pension rights.
4) A legal framework will be implemented for individual pension commitments for self-employed managers, inspired on the occupational pension act for employees.
5) The concept ‘exit’ (uittreding-sortie), i.e., the moment when the acquired rights and reserves are calculated, is re-defined in the occupational pension legislation.
Currently the term ‘exit’ is only linked to the end of the employment contract, which often implies undesired/unintended situations in practice.
Therefore, the new ‘exit’ concept is no longer purely connected to the end of the employment contract and excludes situations whereby the termination of the employment contract is followed by a new employment contract which is concluded with an organizer which adheres to the same occupational pension plan if an agreement will be entered into arranging for the transfer of the occupational pension rights (multi-organizer pension plan).
Furthermore, there is an ‘exit’ if the employment contract is not terminated but if the employee does no longer fulfill the affiliation conditions of the concerned occupational pension plan.
Please do not hesitate to contact us as K law will gladly assist you with any question you might have regarding the occupational pension novelties.
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