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Supplementary pensions and collective insurances: how the continued accrual of rights and payment of contributions for employees in temporary unemployment is regulated?

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On 30 April 2020, the Belgian Parliament adopted a bill on certain measures concerning the continuation of collective insurances for employees in temporary unemployment.

These measures apply to supplementary pension schemes, collective health insurances, disability insurances, invalidity insurances and the disability and invalidity coverages managed by an IORP.

The most important points are the following:

  • The employer or the industry level organizer must continue to pay contributions as if the employment contract had not been suspended. However, the employer or industry level organizer has the right to defer the payment of the contributions until 30 September 2020 included. This possible deferment of the payment of the contributions does not affect the benefits of the affiliates.
  • The continued payment of contributions during the period of temporary unemployment can of course represent an unwanted financial burden for employers. Therefore, employers and industry level organizers can communicate to the insurance company or IORP that they wish to stop coverage and consequently will not pay any further contributions during the period of temporary unemployment. This must be done within 30 days after being informed of this by the insurance company or IORP.
  • Possible death coverages are in any case maintained until 30 June 2020 included, even if the employer / industry level organizer opts for the temporary deferment of the payment of the contributions.
  • Employers and industry level organizers must inform the affiliates  whether or not the coverage is maintained during the period of temporary unemployment.
  • The applicable schemes should be formally adapted to the continued accrual of rights and payment of contributions, but only by 31 December 2021.

The measures are of course only relevant if the applicable scheme today does not provide for further payment of contributions and accrual of rights during the period of temporary unemployment. If the scheme does provide for this, but the employer or the industry level organizer wishes to deviate from it, the applicable scheme will have to be adapted according to the applicable procedures.

These measures apply from 13 March 2020 up to and including 30 September 2020.
 

Apart from the impact of the now widespread Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our daily personal life, companies in Belgium and around the world also face important difficulties and challenges on all levels of their day-to-day business.

Find out more regarding various related topics

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