26 November 2014

On November 25 of 2014, OGEO FUND held a roundtable discussion entitled ”Belgians and their pensions: goals and tools to ensure a viable reform” in order to present the results of the exclusive opinion poll on retirement in Belgium commissioned by OGEO FUND and conducted by IPSOS.

The roundtable discussion panel consisted of esteemed academic and professional experts, in the presence of Belgian Federal Minister for Pensions, Mr Daniel Bacquelaine. This unprecedented meeting, organised in collaboration with Bank Degroof, served to point out the expectations of the Belgian population on the future of their pension and to address new directions for reform advocated by the same government and presented a few hours later in Parliament.

Speakers participating in the discussion included:

  • Daniel Bacquelaine, Belgian Federal Minister for Pensions;
  • Roland de Turck, Vice-President of IPSOS Belgium;
  • Pierre Devolder, Professor at “KU Leuven” (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium);
  • Etienne de Callataÿ, Chief Economist and Managing Director of Bank Degroof;
  • Ralf Jacob, Head of Unit “Social Protection and Activation Systems”, Employment DG, European Commission;
  • André Gilles, OGEO FUND’s President of the Board of Directors.

Belgian Federal Minister for Pensions, Daniel Bacquelaine, highlighted in the speech opening of the conference and just a few hours before presenting his proposal for reform in the federal Parliament, that only 10% of the population works until the age of 65 and that the draft reform should therefore open up the possibility of working without any age limit after reaching the age of 65.

During the debate, the experts were informed about the Belgian public opinion regarding pensions following an opinion poll commissioned by OGEO FUND and conducted by IPSOS before holding the current debates on reform and the announcement to increase the statutory retirement age to 67. Roland de Turck, Vice-President of IPSOS Belgium, stated that “our survey clearly reveals a widespread concern among the Belgian population about the future of their pensions. A vast majority of workers believes that their pension will not suffice in order to maintain an adequate standard of living. Moreover, 4 out of 5 people surveyed hold the opinion that the public authorities should aim - as a priority - to ensure an adequate pension funding”.   

During the speech closing, André Gilles, OGEO FUND’s President of the Board of Directors, recalled OGEO FUND’s commitment to boost the analysis of and further investigation on the issue regarding pensions in Belgium and emphasised that “OGEO FUND does not only raise the alarm but, as the fifth largest pension funding organisation of Belgium, also seeks to become part of a constructive and critical process aiming at ensuring future pension funding”.       

A report by RTC Liège was broadcast on 25 Novembre 2014 (in French).

Would you like to consult the comprehensive results of this survey (in french) ? Please click here.