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Belgian Social Security

Sociale Zekerheid / Sécurité Sociale



If you want to work in Belgium, you have to pay social security contributions (NL: bijdrage FR: contributions) like every other resident. What the exact rules for you are depends on the agreement between Belgium and your country.

The Belgian social security (NL: sociale zekerheid FR: sécurité sociale) system consists of 3 different systems for:

  • salaried persons;
  • self-employed persons;
  • civil servants.

Benefits

The benefits that you can receive from social security are:

  • sickness and disability insurance
  • insurance for work-related accidents
  • insurance for occupational illness
  • old age & survivor’s pensions
  • unemployment benefits
  • family benefits
  • annual vacation

International agreements

Belgium has multilateral agreements with Austria, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

There are also bilateral agreements with Algeria, Canada, Chile, DR Congo, Israel, Morocco, Poland, San Marino, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Australia, the Philippines, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro.

These agreements all have similar goals: to guarantee an equal treatment, to find out which legislation applies, making sure that an individual receives what he is entitled to (from all countries) and making sure that an individual can still receive benefits abroad.

They usually state that a worker needs to follow legislation in the country where he works, even if he is a resident in another country. Unless an employee is sent to another country by his/her employer, then the individual needs to follow legislation in the original country.

Limosa

Limosa is an administrative portal for foreign employers and self-employed individuals who carry out partial or temporary assignments in Belgium. It provides information about working in Belgium and you can make the necessary administrative arrangements online. On this site you NEED to declare all your activities in order to avoid sanctions (www.limosa.be ). More information can be found on the website of the federal Public service of Social Security (www.socialsecurity.fgov.be ).

Salaried persons

Both the employee and the employer need to make contributions to the National Office for Social Security (RSZ - ONSS) (NL: Rijksdienst voor Sociale Zekerheid FR: Office National Securité Sociale).

Contributions are divided among 6 benefit sectors, but the total percentage that an employee needs to pay is 13.07% of his/her gross salary. The employer needs to pay 24.77% which amounts to a total of 37.84% of your gross salary that will go into social security.

Certain groups such as older employees, long-term job seekers and students can benefit from lower contributions. These are measures to promote employment. For example: students who work no more than 23 days during July, August & September don’t have to pay social security contribution, but pay a 2.5% solidarity contribution instead.


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