EUROPEAN UNION - EEA (EU + Liechtenstein,Iceland, and Norway) - SWITZERLAND: social security - general information

You are leaving Belgium and are going to live in Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or the United Kingdom or you are leaving one of these countries and are going to live in Belgium.

Before leaving, you have to inquire with the competent institutions what formalities you should accomplish in order to preserve your social security benefits or in order to receive social security benefits.

Belgium applies regulations (EEC) Nos. 883/2009 and 987/2009 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons and their families moving within the Community.

These regulations lay down the rules for the application of the national social security legislations of all the Member States of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

They apply to employed persons, self-employed persons, civil servants and students.

If you are going to work in one of these countries, the social security legislation of that country will, in principle, apply to you, besides a number of exceptions that are mentioned in the regulations, such as in the case of posting.

The regulations only apply under certain conditions, such as:

  1. In principle, you have to be legally on the territory of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland.
  2. For some countries (Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein), you have to have the nationality of one of the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland or be recognised as a refugee or a displaced person.

The European regulations guarantee that :

  • you will have the same rights and obligations in the country where you work as an employed citizen of this country;
  • periods of activity in both countries will be taken into account for the entitlement to social security benefits;
  • you will be able, under certain conditions, to receive social security benefits from your country of origin when you live in the other country;
  • your periods of activity in both countries will be totalised for your entitlement to social security benefits and for the calculation of the amount of these benefits, e.g. for the retirement pensions.

The regulations contain detailed rules of application for the granting of the social security benefits.

The regulations bear on the following benefits:

  • family allowances
  • health care
  • sickness benefits (including maternity and paternity)
  • invalidity benefits
  • benefits for accidents at work
  • benefits for occupational diseases
  • unemployment benefits
  • retirement pensions
  • survivor's pensions.

You will find more information on "find information", by selecting the criteria that apply to your situation.

For more information, please find the text of the Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and the text of the Regulation (EC) No 987/2009.