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Headline Labour & Employment: Increased social security contributions on unemployment benefits with an additional company allowance and on other security benefits

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In a previous Headlines we have already set out the measures in the fight against the non-observance of the obligations with regard to part-time work, provided for in the Program Act of 29 March 2012, that was published in the Belgian State Gazette of 6 April 2012. By virtue of this Program Act, new percentages also apply to the social security contributions that the employer owes within the frame of the regime of unemployment benefits with an additional company allowance (abbreviated “RUCA”, the former early retirement), on additional benefits to certain social security contributions and on disability benefits.

The new percentages apply to dismissals that have been given after 28 November 2011 in order for the RUCA to take effect as of 1 April 2012 or later. These new percentages are the following: 

Age of the employee at the start of the RUCA Employer's contribution NSSO
< 52 years 100 %
≥ 52 years and < 55 years 95 %
≥ 55 years and < 58 years 85 %
≥ 58 years and < 60 years 55 %
60 years old or older 25 %

For companies in difficulty different (lower) percentages continue to apply.

Also for current RUCA’s (both “old” regimes (early retirement started before 1 April 2010) as for the regimes that started as of 1 April 2010), as of 1 January 2012, the employer’s social security contributions will increase, but in a less intrusive way. These percentages increase by 10 %. Unlike prior to the entry into force of the Program Act, the applicable percentages also decrease for RUCA’s that have taken effect as of 1 April 2010 as the age of the unemployed person benefiting additional company allowances increases, as was already the case for the “old” regimes.

The employer’s social security contributions that are due on certain other additional allowances to social security benefits paid by the employer (e.g. within the framework of time credit) are also increased. The minimum percentage hereof now amounts to 38,82 % (compared to minimum 32,25 % before 1 January 2012).

The employee’s social security withholdings on additional benefits do not change.

Under the new regime, it remains possible to grant an additional benefit exempt from social security contributions on top of the unemployment benefits to former employees, provided that the beneficiary has not reached the age of 45 at the moment of the first payment of this additional benefit.