On 1 July 2013, the program law of 28 June containing various tax and financial measures was published in the Official Gazette.
This program law includes a change in the rules on accumulation of a statutory pension with own professional income (i.e. earned income). As in previous years, accumulation of an old-age pension or a widow/widower pension with professional income (from employment, self-employed or other activities) continues to be allowed subject to certain conditions. If the latter are not met, the pension will be reduced (possibly even to nil). Those criteria have now been changed.
- Unlimited accumulation
If the individual has a professional career of at least 42 calendar years, unlimited accumulation of pension(s) and professional income is allowed during the years following the year of age 65.
- Restricted accumulation
If the individual has a professional career of less than 42 calendar years, accumulation is allowed provided a certain professional income threshold (which depends on the beneficiary’s age and accumulated professional activity) is not exceeded.
Please note that these thresholds have been slightly increased in comparison with previous years.
- When the professional income thresholds are exceeded
Finally, the regulations for situations where the above professional income thresholds are exceeded have changed as follows: where a beneficiary exceeds the threshold, the pension will now only be suspended for the year concerned if the excess amounts to 25% or more (whereas, till recently, suspension was imposed in the case of 15% excess). Where the threshold is exceeded by less than 25%, however, the pension will be reduced by the same percentage as the excess percentage.
Please note that these measures will become effective retroactively as from 1 January 2013 and also apply to pensions and accumulations already existing on 31 December 2012.
Lastly, please note that the program law of 28 June 2013 also contains new measures with respect to the application of the pension bonus.