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Social Security in Brussels

Starting work in Brussels soon or want to? Brussels is a welcoming and international location, but to fully enjoy your time, you need detailed info on the city; we’re glad to help! InterNations gives you the know-how on work permits, taxes, healthcare, and social security for expats.
Cycling to work is a popular option in Brussels.

No Need to Worry about Double Taxation

EU nationals working in Brussels don’t have to worry about double taxation: they are protected by various EU treaties to that effect. Belgium has signed double taxation treaties with a number of countries outside the EU as well. These treaties regulate any issues which might arise from the tax authority of the source country interfering with that of the country of residence. A complete list of taxation treaties including details of the individual arrangements is available on the FPS Finance website.

An Overview of the Social Security System

Everyone who receives a salary from a company in Brussels automatically contributes approximately 13% of their gross monthly salary to the Belgian social security system. The amount will be directly deducted from your salary and transferred to a social security fund, together with a contribution of almost 25% from the employer.

The self-employed pay their quarterly social security contribution to the social insurance fund they are affiliated with. This provisional contribution is calculated based on the self-employed person’s net professional labor income in the third calendar year (reference year) preceding the year for which the contribution is due. The quarterly contributions start at around 700 EUR per quarter.

There are different social security schemes for employees, the self-employed, and civil servants. The seven so-called classical sectors of the Belgian social security system include: old age and survivor’s pensions, unemployment benefits, insurance for work accidents and occupational diseases, family benefits, compulsory insurance for medical care and benefits, and paid annual leave. The latter, however, is only paid out of social security funds to blue-collar workers; other employees have individual arrangements with their employers.

Social Security Safeguard for Non-EU Member States

EU/EEA nationals residing in Brussels have the same rights and duties as Belgian citizens when it comes to social security. They pay the same contributions, receive the same benefits, and keep their rights to benefits, no matter where in the EU/EEA they reside, as contributions always add up. However, while this sounds nice in theory, you will often face some bureaucratic obstacles when it comes to claiming certain benefits.

Several non-EU member states have signed social security agreements with Belgium to make sure that no social security contributions and benefits are lost. For the exact terms and conditions of individual agreements, please refer to the website of the Belgian Social Security Portal and click on your country.

Currently, there are bilateral social security agreements between Belgium and the following countries: Algeria, Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Congo (DR), Croatia, India, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Morocco, Montenegro, the Philippines, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, and the USA.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 


Kelly Powell

"I loved moving to Brussels. But after a while I felt homesick. On InterNations I met a bunch of people from the US. That helped a lot."

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