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Social Security and Retirement in Belgium


  • Pierre Pestieau
  • Jean-Philippe Stijns


Belgium like many other industrialized countries is facing serious problems in financing its social security. Whereas the effects of aging are still to come, Belgium currently experiences one of the lowest attachments to the labor force of older persons. This paper presents the key features of the Belgian social security system and focuses on labor force participation and benefit receipt. Most of the attention is given to the interaction between retirement behavior and the various social security schemes. By measuring the implicit tax/subsidy rate on work after 55 through these schemes, we can so explain the actual pattern of early and normal retirement of Belgian older workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Pestieau & Jean-Philippe Stijns, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Belgium," NBER Working Papers 6169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6169
    Note: AG PE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
    2. Pepermans, G, 1992. "Retirement Decisions in a Discrete Choice Model and Implications for the Government Budget: The Case of Belgium," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(3), pages 229-243, August.
    3. Jean-Philippe Stijns & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Generational Accounts for Belgium," NBER Chapters,in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 161-176 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Casey B Mulligan, 1999. "Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 154, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    2. Kevin Milligan & Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Improving the Labour Market Incentives of Canada's Public Pensions," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(3), pages 281-304, September.
    3. BURGGRAEVE Koen & DU CAJU Philip, "undated". "How Do Reference Values for Wages and Wage Indexing Influence the Impact of Labour Tax Reductions?," EcoMod2003 330700028, EcoMod.
    4. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Social Security, Retirement, and the Single-Mindedness of the Electorate," NBER Working Papers 9691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Alain Jousten & Mathieu Lefèbvre & Sergio Perelman & Pierre Pestieau, 2010. "The Effects of Early Retirement on Youth Unemployment: The Case of Belgium," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: The Relationship to Youth Employment, pages 47-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Casey B. Mulligan, 2000. "Induced Retirement, Social Security, and the Pyramid Mirage," NBER Working Papers 7679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Desmet, Raphaël & Jousten, Alain & Perelman, Sergio, 2005. "The Benefits of Separating Early Retirees from the Unemployed: Simulation Results for Belgian Wage Earners," IZA Discussion Papers 1571, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Karakaya, Güngör, 2008. "Early cessation of activity in the labour market: impact of supply and demand factors," MPRA Paper 13390, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Gilles Le Garrec, 2001. "Systèmes de retraite par répartition, mode de calcul des droits à pension et croissance," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 67(4), pages 357-380.
    10. Axel Borsch-Supan, 1998. "Incentive Effects of Social Security on Labor Force Participation: Evidence in Germany and Across Europe," NBER Working Papers 6780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Miles, David K, 2000. "Funded and Unfunded Pensions: Risk, Return and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 2369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Luís Eduardo Afonso & Adriana Schor, 2001. "oferta de Trabalho dos Indivíduos com Idade Superior a 50 Anos: Algumas Características da Década de 90," Anais do XXIX Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 29th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 092, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    13. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 2000. "Incentive effects of social security on labor force participation: evidence in Germany and across Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 25-49, October.
    14. Mathieu Lefebvre & Kristian Orsini, 2012. "A structural model for early exit of older men in Belgium," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 379-398, August.

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