NEW GOVERNMENT IN BELGIUM AND TRENDS ON PENSIONS MANAGEMENT
TAO follows closely the EU Member States’ files that can affect EC staff acquired rights.
Indeed, it is no secret that the EC staff rules find inspiration in the Member States’ main political trends. Belgian regulations are of a very particular interest given the majority presence of EC staff in the Belgian territory. In this context, TAO is paying attention to the upcoming rules announced by the new Belgian 'Vivaldi Government Coalition' in the area of pensions. The new Belgian rules will have to be implemented beyond the Government program. However, it seems already clear that (i) there will be further financial incentives for late retirements including after 65 years old, and (ii) probably, further tax incentives to contract third, fourth and fifth pillars' private pension funds funded either by business or by the future pensioners in different degrees. Both measures are aimed at improving the sustainability of the public pension scheme and supplement the pension rents of many citizens who might struggle to keep a reasonable standard of living after retirement. Generally, the situation of the EU staff within the EC pension system is reasonably satisfactory from the perspective of revenues so far. However, TAO together with the EU pensioners' associations remains vigilant in this area. Firstly, TAO will firmly fight against any deterioration of existing or future pension-related rights. Secondly, TAO notes that the EC HR policies are not appropriate to deal with the increasingly long careers within the institution. TAO thinks that more than an ill designed ‘Young Professionals Programme' we urgently need a good 'Experienced Professionals Programme'. We will come back on this issue regularly alongside TAO's ongoing project to improve the career prospects of our senior colleagues. TAO envisions a win-win transition to retirement for both the affected staff and the EC institutions’ business continuity interest.