The transition allowance and the survivor’s pension are little known in Belgium although they are aid intended for people who have lost their spouse. The Federal Pensions Service is therefore launching a campaign on Wednesday to raise public awareness of the existence of these financial supports.
The transition allowance is a temporary aid paid to the spouse who does not meet the age condition (48.5 years in 2022, 49 years in 2023) to be entitled to a survivor’s pension. It can be combined with professional income. The survivor’s pension is intended for the widow or widower and can be combined with other income, under certain conditions.
According to figures from the Pensions service, 550,487 people received a survivor’s pension in January 2021, mainly women who represented 94.41% of the total. Around 1,500 young workers also receive a transition allowance and 75,000 people under the age of 65 receive a survivor’s pension each year.
Too many late requests
However, the authorities note that part of the Belgian population is unaware of the existence of this financial aid, in particular the transition allowance. Some therefore do not benefit from it even though they are entitled to it or think they cannot receive it because they work. Late applications by widows and widowers, more than 12 months after death, are also problematic, as they can lead to the loss of part of the assistance.
The communication campaign therefore wants to inform as many people as possible about the transition allowance and the survivor’s pension. It will mainly take place on social media, with the help of an animated film and a website (www.onestlapourvous.be). The latter gives information in particular on the communication of a death, the rights of the spouse or the consequences on the pension.
“The transition allowance and the survivor’s pension represent a bubble of air to face the daily expenses and the responsibility of the children”, comments Karine Lalieux, Minister of Pensions. “The new campaign of the Federal Pensions Service will make it possible to inform current and future beneficiaries of these allowances, and thus to fight against the non-use of rights.”
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