Belgian employers should take action on the harmonization of their blue-and white-collar supplementary pension plans — because from 1 Jan 2025, they will no longer be able to provide different plans based on these distinctions. After that date, if no action is taken, employers risk blue-collar workers claiming membership in white-collar staff pension plans. The measures feature in a law published on 5 May 2014, which mandated the progressive harmonization of supplementary pension schemes.
From 2025, employers can still operate different pension plans based on permitted criteria, including different pension contributions based on salary levels or job grades. However, depending on the workforce profile, some employers could face increased pension costs.
If they haven’t done so already, employers should begin to consider the ramifications involved in modernizing their supplementary pension provisions to meet the requirements of the law — as it may take two to three years to develop and implement the harmonization strategy. Companies subject to industry sector collective bargaining agreements that have not yet been renegotiated should be aware that pension plan costs could increase as the 2025 deadline approaches.