During your research stay in Belgium, you will build up pension rights through the social security contributions which are deducted directly from your fellowship. But what happens with your Belgian pension if you move back to your home country after you finished your research stay in Belgium?
If you move to a country inside the European Economic Area (the 28 members of the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and you retire there, your Belgian pension will be exported according to EU Regulation 1408/71. According to this Regulation, which also applies to non EEA nationals since Regulation 859/2003 entered into force, every Member State in which a person paid social security contributions for at least one year will have to pay a proportional retirement pension, corresponding to the period spent in that country. However, each country’s pension will only be paid once you have reached the retirement age for that country, ie. you will be entitled to your Belgian pension when you reach 65.
If you retire in a country outside the European Economic Area, your Belgian pension will be exported only if you are citizen of the European Economic Area or if you are a citizen of a country with which Belgium concluded a bilateral social security agreement.
If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you will only receive a Belgian pension if you stay living in Belgium.
In exceptional cases, you may be able to benefit from RESAVER, a single pan-European pension scheme that offers a defined contribution plan, tailor-made for research organizations and their employees.
If you need further information regarding pension rights, please contact your host institution.