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Retirement abroad

Upon retirement, many Flemish people decide to go to the sun, often in the south of Europe. But other countries are also on the rise. There are relatively few obstacles to enjoying your retirement abroad. But what about your pension rights, the payment, etc.?

How and where to apply for a pension

How and where you can claim your Belgian or foreign pension depends on your place of residence. If you live in Belgium, you can apply:

  • at the municipal administration of your main residence
  • at a Pension Point of the Federal Pension Service
  • online via the website http://www.pensioenaanvraag.be

You can apply for your pension at the pension authority in the country where you live or last worked. If you have never worked in your country of residence, your country of residence will automatically forward your application to the country where you last worked. The country concerned will process the application and bring together all the information about your pension rights.

Please note: in some countries you should have worked for a certain minimum period before you have pension rights. If you have worked for less than a year in a particular country, there may be an exception.

Bilateral treaties

Belgium has a bilateral agreement on pensions with many countries. If there is no treaty, this may have an impact on your situation. More information about the bilateral treaties and the calculation of your pension can be found on the website of the FPD.

Tip: Use the platform of the NSSO to find out more about your personal situation.

Tip: Doubts about your pension situation? Contact the FPD!


As a Belgian, you can send your pension by bank transfer to an account in your country of residence. Don't forget to inform the FPD two months in advance. If you stay abroad, the Belgian pension service does ask you to return a life certificate at least once a year.

Please note: the Belgian pension service urges you to notify us as soon as possible of any change of address or civil status in writing.


If you live abroad as a pensioner, there is no right to reimbursement of your medical expenses for health care at the expense of Belgium. However, there is an exception if you as a pensioner meet the same conditions:

  • live in a country that applies the European regulations or in a country with which Belgium has concluded an agreement that includes healthcare (Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey)


  • do not receive a pension from your country of residence.

Tip: Contact your Belgian health insurance company before you leave!