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Notes on Individual Rules under the Japan-Belgium Social Security Agreement

150010020-437-348-561 Last updated date:11 10 2016

1. Crews of ships

If you work as an employee on board a sea-going vessel flying the flag of either Japan or Belgium, you will be subject only to the social security systems of the country in which your employer is located.
The procedure to apply for your Certificate of Coverage under this rule is the same as it is for general employees.

2. Treatment for self-employed persons in Belgium regarding contribution payments to Belgian system

If you work as an employee in Japan and work as a self-employed person in Belgium at the same time, your employed activity in Japan will be considered as an employed activity in Belgium.

3. Crews of aircrafts

If you work as an employee on an aircraft in international traffic, you will be subject only to the social security system of the country in which your employer is located.

4. Extension of the period of exemption

If you continue to work as a detached worker (or a self-employed person) in the other country for more than 5 years because of unforeseeable reasons or specific circumstances that may cause significant damage to your company or you, you may be granted extension of the period of exemption for up to 1 year (or 2 years if you have exeptional reasons). In this case, you continue to remain subject only to the system in your original country where you are detacted from. If your application for the extension is not granted, you will be covered only by the system of the country in which you work during the period exceeding the initial 5 years.

5. Coverage periods totalization for Belgian benefits

As to the general old-age and survivors' benefit under the Belgian pension system, there is no minimum coverage period requirement to qualify for the benefits. Therefore, you will be eligible for the Belgian benefit even if your Japanese coverage period is not considered.
However, if you apply for Belgian early benefits from age 60, you will be required 35 years coverage period that you have worked as an employee or self-employed in Belgium. In order to meet the coverage period requirement for the early benefits, your Japanese coverage period will be considerd.
As to the invalidity benefits of Belgium, there are coverage period requirements to qualify for the benefits and then your Japanese coverage period will be considered. In order to have your Japanese coverage period considered for the Belgian invalidity benefits, you need to have at least one year Belgian coverage period before your insurance accident.

6. Belgian benefit amounts calculation under the Agreement

The following two calculations are used to determine your benefit amounts of Belgian old-age and survivors' benefits, and then the highest amount will be provided to you.

  1. Calculation method according to the Belgian legislation
    The benefit amount is determined based on coverage period of Belgium.
  2. Calculation method according to the Agreement
    The benefit amount is determined based on the totalized coverage periods of both Belgium and Japan.

7. Retroactive payment of Belgian pension benefits

In principle, you will be entitled to Belgian benefits starting from the following month in which you reach your pensionable age or your claim is made. However, if you satisfy the eligibility requirements for Belgian benefits on the effective date of the Japan-Belgium Agreement, the benefits will be provided from the effective date as long as you claim for Belgian benefit within two years from the effective date.
The Belgian authority provides the special treatment for persons who reside outside Belgium. Even if your claim for Belgian benefit is made after the pensionable age, the benefits will be retroactively payable for up to 10 years. (Please note that it is not payable no earlier than your pensionable age.)

8. Payment of Belgian benefits

The Belgian benefits are paid every month.
[Old-age and survivors' benefits]
Your benefits will be paid by way of;

  1. Check in U.S. dollars or Euro
  2. Direct deposit to your bank account in Belgium or in one of the several other countries in Europe

[Invalidity benefits]
The benefit is directly deposited into your bank account in Japan in Japanese yen.

9. Coverage periods totalization for Japanese benefits

When you need to consider Belgian coverage period for Japanese benefits, a specified quarter coverage period of Belgium is considered as 3 months of Japanese coverage period as follows :

Coverage period
(Belgium)
Coverage period
(Japan)
First quarter From January 1st to March 31st
Second quarter From April 1st to June 30th
Third quarter From July 1st to September 30th
Forth quarter From October 1st to December 31st

10. Income tax on Japanese pension benefits in Belgium

If you receive Japanese pension benefits in Belgium, your Japanese benefits are subject to income tax in Belgium and exempt from Japanese income tax.
To be exempt from Japanese income tax under this rule, you must submit two completed "Application form for Income Tax Convention (Form 9)" to the Headquarters of Japan Pension Service. You can download the form from 新規ウインドウで開きます。the Japanese National Tax Agency website.(外部リンク)
If you apply for the Japanese benefits in Belgium, you can submit the form as well as the application for Japanese benefits to the social security authority in Belgium.

11. Benefits payable to outside Belgium

Under the Belgian system, although there is no minimum coverage period requirement to qualify for benefits, in principle, Belgian benefits for foreigners are not payable abroad without Social Security Agreement. Specifically, Japanese who live in Japan could not receive the benefits before implementation of the Agreement. After the Agreement, however, Japanese who live outside Belgium pr persons who live in Japan and have coverage period under the Belgian pension system became eligible for the Belgian benefits.

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