The supplementary table 29, “Accrued-to-date pension entitlements in social insurance” of the Eurostat transmission program covers the statutory pensions and occupational pension schemes in social insurance in Belgium. In a working paper that was published May 2017, the Federal Planning Bureau presented a first methodology to complete the columns on the statutory pension schemes. Following this publication and the preliminary data transmission towards Eurostat mid-2017, the decision was taken to change the model and implement the PBO-methodology. Moreover, the first model contained an error in the programming part which lead to an overestimation of the accrued rights. This error has been corrected for. Consequently, the accrued-to-date pension entitlements are lower than the ones presented in the working paper.
The table 29 is described by ESA 2010, the European System of Accounts 2010 and has as goal to establish a complete and consistent coverage of pension entitlements in a country and to promote comparability across countries. Therefore, the table brings together information already shown in the standard or ‘core’ national accounts (columns A to F of Table 29) with information on unfunded pension systems (the statutory pension schemes), which are not reported in the core accounts (columns G and H of Table 29). To allow consistent comparability across countries, the supplementary table covers only the pension part of social insurance. For Belgium, the statutory pension schemes will contain old-age pensions
and survivors’ pensions as they are an integral part of the pension scheme. The assistance scheme (guaranteed income for the elderly), disability benefits and unemployment benefits with company allowance non-job seeker are excluded. Individual personal pensions are also excluded as they are no part of social insurance.
The report comments on the assumptions of the modelling and the estimation methodology of the values. The values that are presented in this report are those that will be send in the final transmission to Eurostat. The transmitted information will comprise the table 29, two alternative tables with a different discount rate and the fact sheets on the pension schemes as requested by Eurostat.
When interpreting the values of table 29, one should keep in thought that the pensions entitlements are presented as accrued-to-date liabilities. They are in fact present values of the pension entitlements of the retired population and the part of pension entitlements that is currently accrued by future beneficiaries. Accrued-to-date liabilities do not represent public debt and are not an indicator of the fiscal or financial sustainability of the pension systems and are only appropriate for national accounts purposes. An assessment of the sustainability of the pension systems can be found in the reports of the Ageing Working Group or the Belgian Study Commission for Ageing.