Group insurance

A group insurance is an insurance contract that the employer or the sector takes out with an insurer such as Vivium or with a pension fund for (some of) its personnel.

Its purpose is to supplement the available statutory provisions under the Belgian social security system.

A group insurance policy can include several types of cover:

  • a supplementary retirement pension (on top of your statutory pension);
  • a death benefit in the event that you die before your retirement;
  • a supplementary benefit in the event of incapacity to work;
  • a supplementary benefit in the event of an accident;
  • premium waiver cover that ensures that the insured benefits continue to be accrued during a period of incapacity to work.

These types of cover are not a statutory obligation; they are part of your fringe benefits as an employee.

The pension rules lay down all the conditions for the benefits in the event of retirement and death. You can request the pension rules from your employer or read them on www.mypension.be.

If you are in the employee category for whom your employer has taken out group insurance, your employer will include you.

As long as you are employed and you remain in the insured employee category, the employer will pay an amount into your group insurance each month, quarter or year. The employer will pay the premiums for cover in the event of death, incapacity to work or an accident and the premium waiver. It will also pay a premium for your supplementary pension.

The premiums paid for your supplementary pension yield interest and may benefit from additional profit sharing.

You may have to pay an amount yourself in order to build your supplementary pension. If there is a personal contribution, this is included in the pension rules. You can request the pension rules from your employer or read them on www.mypension.be. Your payslip also shows any payments that are required from you.

This personal contribution is usually expressed as a percentage of your salary, but may also appear as a fixed amount or as a combination of both a percentage and a fixed amount.

The personal contributions you pay yourself give you a tax benefit of 30% of the personal contributions. You receive this benefit as a reduction in your advance tax payment. This also means that you pay less municipal tax when you settle your personal income tax.

If you join a company that provides group insurance to the personnel category you belong to, you will automatically be included in the group insurance. You therefore do not have a choice.

This is also the case if you have to pay a personal contribution.

The savings balance of your supplementary pension that you and your employer are building up will always be your property. This is the case if your employer dismisses you and if you decide to resign.

However, you can refuse to participate in a new group insurance policy during your employment if this new group insurance is not introduced with a collective labour agreement. In that case, you need to sign a statement of renunciation. Do bear in mind that this means you will waive all the benefits of this new group insurance. For example, you can't waive your personal contribution and retain the employer's benefit. You will waive all the premiums. Your choice is also irrevocable. You can't change your mind later.

You also have the option not to join if the personal contribution for the existing group insurance is increased, unless this increase is introduced with a collective labour agreement. In that case, you also need to sign a statement of renunciation and your decision will be final. This will oblige your employer to continue the original group insurance policy for you.

Finally, you also can refuse to join a new or modified group insurance if its aim is to eliminate any differences between blue-collar and white-collar workers, unless a collective labour agreement obliges you to join. This possibility only exists if you joined a group insurance policy that was introduced before 1 January 2015. If you refuse, you must sign a specific statement of renunciation and your employer is obliged to continue the original group insurance policy. Contrary to the first two situations, you can reconsider your choice not to participate in certain specific cases.

Yes, you can save up for your retirement on your own initiative in addition to your group insurance. Any natural person between 18 and 65 years of age with a taxable income who lives in Belgium can save up for their retirement in a private pension scheme. The amount eligible for tax relief is indexed each year. For the tax year 2021 (based on income for 2020), you can deduct pension contributions of a personal pension-savings plan up to €990 or €1,270. In exchange, the tax authorities will give you tax relief of 30% or 25% of your pension contributions. You will also pay less municipal tax as a result.

You can therefore easily combine your personal retirement savings with a personal contribution to the group insurance. As a result, you have two ways you can significantly supplement your statutory retirement pension to ensure that you can maintain your standard of living during your retirement.

The website mygroupinsurance.vivium.be offers information about your group insurance and is available to all salaried employees who have or had a Vivium group insurance via their employer. In exceptional cases, it will also provide information on group insurance policies for the self-employed.

If your contract starts with 530..., it will be available on mygroupinsurance.vivium.be.

It does not include information about your personal pension savings or life insurance.

When you log in, you will find the following information:

  • an overview of your cover: what your group insurance includes;
  • a group insurance FAQ section;
  • "My Profile", a personal space with information about your personal data;
  • the official benefit statement: the summary of your insured amounts.

You can have multiple contracts. Each contract can have its own status:

Active policy:

New premiums are being paid for these contracts.

The cover amounts are shown.

The provided premium is the current (total) annual premium.

In some exceptional circumstances, no premium has been entered, even though your contract is active. This may be the case when your employment contract has been (temporarily) suspended because of a long-term illness or career break, for example.

Passive policy:

No new premiums are being paid for these contracts, but they still include reserves (the amount already saved).

The cover amounts are shown.

The premium no longer shows the annual premium.

Terminated policy:

No new premiums are being paid for such contracts and there are no more reserves.

All types of cover show "zero".

The premium is "zero".

The reserves under this contract have either been paid out or assigned to another contract.

A contract will no longer be visible on mygroupinsurance.vivium.be six months after it has been terminated.

 

The benefit statement is your official annual group insurance overview.

It is a detailed overview of the types of cover you have, how they are financed and how the reserves have evolved since the previous year.

The benefit statement contains a lot of information that is not always easy to understand. To help you do this, we have created a video that explains everything clearly.

If you don't want to know all the details, but do want to understand the big picture, take a look at the cover screen in your personal area on mygroupinsurance.vivium.be (via Sign in). There you will find the most recent figures for all your types of insurance cover.

The calculation date and the annual adjustment date are usually the same. The annual adjustment date is the date when your types of insurance cover are calculated based on your salary and all other calculation elements at that time. If something happens in the meantime that affects the insurance cover, your insured cover will be recalculated.

The calculation date shown on your last benefit statement is the date when Vivium effectively performed the last recalculation of your group insurance.

This is based on the information that the employer provides us with.

For example, your group insurance may have been recalculated on 1 June (calculation date) because your family situation has changed and the rules state that this will affect your insured cover based on your salary on 1 January (annual adjustment date).

An employer or a sector takes out group insurance for (some of) its personnel. It outsources the management of the group insurance to an insurer or a pension fund. This is a statutory obligation.

The pension rules describe all the rights and obligations of the employer and of the affiliated parties and their beneficiaries, and determine the conditions for affiliation and the group insurance's implementation.

They include all the contractual provisions and answer questions such as “Who will be covered by the group insurance?”, “How will the premium be determined?” and “What types of insurance cover will be provided?”.

You can request the pension rules from your employer or read them on www.mypension.be.

Pension

A supplementary pension is a pension you can build up on top of your statutory pension during your career as an employee or self-employed person. A supplementary pension is often referred to as the second pension pillar.

There are four pension pillars in Belgium:

  • First pillar:
    This is your statutory pension as a salaried employee, self-employed person or civil servant. For more information, visit the "statutory pension" section of www.mypension.be.
  • Second pillar:
    This is the supplementary pension you can build up during your career as an employee or self-employed person.
  • Third pillar:
    This is the personal supplementary pension that you can build up privately through pension savings and/or an individual life insurance and that entitles you to tax relief.
  • Fourth pillar:
    This is your personal savings plan that does not offer you any extra tax relief (a property investment and a savings account, for example).

Visit mygroupinsurance.vivium.be for more information about the supplementary pension (second pillar) you are building up or have built up with Vivium as a salaried employee.

Your expected supplementary pension (as a salaried employee in the second pillar) is shown on your benefit statement or on mygroupinsurance.vivium.be in the section "How much supplementary pension can I expect if I save until I reach the contract's retirement age?". If you have more than one contract, the amounts are added up.

The amount you see is an estimate of your supplementary pension when you retire.

The actual amount at retirement will depend on the further course of your career and is also affected by various other factors, such as the length of your career, any promotions, part-time work and so on.

You may also have other supplementary pension contracts from when you were working for previous employers, for example. The government website "mypension.be" offers you a complete overview.

The "accrued reserves" are the amount that is already saved on the calculation date.

The "acquired benefit" is the further accrual of these accrued reserves until your contract's maturity without further financing.

The "projected benefit" is the gross amount you can expect to receive at maturity if all future premiums are paid as before and continue to be accrued under the same conditions. This is often not the case. You therefore need to bear in mind that certain factors will affect your expected benefit. For example, you may change jobs, you may start working part-time, your premium may be indexed, or your premium may change because of a salary adjustment or promotion.

It is therefore interesting to log on to mygroupinsurance.vivium.be every time your benefit statement is updated. This will show you the evolution of the accrued reserves and the projected benefit in your contract(s).

The insurer may decide to allocate a profit share depending on the insurance company's results. A profit share is therefore additional return on top of the interest rate already applied to the paid-in premiums. The total return on your savings reserves is determined by an interest rate that is granted based on the deposits and any profit share.

As standard, the payment of the retirement benefits is linked to the actual start of the (early) statutory pension. The payout is mandatory at that time (withdrawal obligation).

However, you can receive your group insurance amount before you retire in the event of the following exceptions:

  • a payout is possible for affiliates who have reached their statutory retirement age or who meet the conditions to take their statutory pension early, but who have not yet took up their statutory pension (withdrawal entitlement).
  • you can make an early (partial) withdrawal of your savings reserves in order to buy or renovate a property located in the European Economic Area. You can find more information about this in the "Other events" section.

When paying out the pension lump sum, Vivium deducts the advance tax payment and the parafiscal levies.

The pension capital accrued through employer contributions is subject to a 3.55% contribution to the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance, a 0%, 1% or 2% solidarity contribution depending on the benefit's size and a 16.66% advance tax payment. This is also the case for the pension capital accrued through your own personal contributions before 1993. The advance tax payment on the pension capital you accrued through your personal contributions after 1993 is 10.09%.

You pay the following:

For pension capital accrued through employer contributions or personal contributions before 1993:

  • a 3.55% contribution to the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance;
  • a 0%, 1% or 2% solidarity contribution depending on the benefit's size;
  • a 16.66% advance tax payment.

For pension capital accrued through personal contributions after 1993:

  • a 3.55% contribution to the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance;
  • a 0%, 1% or 2% solidarity contribution depending on the benefit's size;
  • a 10.09% advance tax payment.

You may be eligible for a lower advance tax payment of 10.09% on the pension capital accrued through employer contributions if you "continue to effectively work without interruption" until you reach statutory retirement age. This applies to the last three years at least.

Since 1 January 2019, this tax reduction also applies to employees who have not yet reached statutory retirement age, but whose career spans more than 45 years and who have "continued to effectively work without interruption" until they met the conditions for a complete career.

Who has "continued to effectively work without interruption"?

These are employees:

  • who have continued to work until they reach the statutory retirement age; or
  • whose careers span more than 45 years and who are retiring before they reach the statutory retirement age.

The following periods of inactivity do not compromise the status of having "continued to effectively work without interruption":

  • periods during which you received statutory sick pay or disability benefit;
  • periods of involuntary unemployment during which you remained available to enter the labour market;
  • periods during which you remained "theoretically available" to enter the labour market in an unemployment scheme with a company supplement (bridging pension) after 1 January 2015.

After Vivium receives a notification of your retirement from the Federal Pensions Service, Vivium will send you a settlement statement by post. You need to complete the requested information on the forms, add the requested certificates and supporting documents and return the original documents to Vivium. Vivium will check that the documents are complete and correct and will then transfer the net pension lump sum into your bank account.

Yes. Vivium deducts an advance tax payment when it pays out your pension lump sum. This tax takes into account a partial settlement of the municipal surcharges. This means that an advance payment of municipal tax is already withheld when your net pension lump sum is paid out.

You must declare the amounts subject to advance tax payment and the advance tax payment itself in the year following the payment with the relevant codes on your official tax document (281.11). The final settlement of the municipal tax therefore does not happen until the year after you have received your net pension lump sum.

Vivium will send you the official tax document (281.11) by post in April of the year after your net pension lump sum was paid out.

Vivium will send this to your home address by post.

You can request a copy by sending an email to FIB-EB@vivium.be. Vivium will email you a copy of your official tax document.

The official tax document (281.11) shows the amounts on which the advance tax payment was based and the total advance tax payment itself.

The amounts on which the advance tax payment was based are lower than the gross benefit, because no professional advance tax payment has to be paid on the solidarity contributions and the contribution to the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance.

If you requested an advance payment to buy or renovate a property for personal use as your sole residence, the final tax is levied according to the system of ‘notional amount’.

If you also continue to work until the statutory retirement age or until your career spans 45 years, the ‘notional amount’ only applies to 80% of the advance payment amount, which results in an additional tax benefit. That benefit is limited to a maximum of €82,780 in 2020. If the amount of the advance payment is greater than the maximum, the surplus will be subject to the normal tax.

A numerical example clarifies this

Suppose that you continue to work until the statutory retirement age or until your career spans 45 years. Your final reserves are €200,000 and your profit share is €10,000. You requested one advance payment on your capital of €100,000, which has not been paid back yet.

Net payout without ‘notional amount’:

Lump sum at maturity: €200,000  
Profit share   €10,000
Solidarity contribution (2%) - €4,000 - €200
Contribution to the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (3.55%) - €7,100 - €355
Advance tax payment (10.09%) - €19,060.01  
Advance payment - €100,000  
Net payout: €69,839.99 €9,445

Net payout with 'notional amount':

Lump sum at maturity: €200,000  
Profit share:   €10, 000
Solidarity contribution (2%) - €4,000 - €200
Contribution to the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (3.55%) - €7,100 - €355
Advance tax payment (10.09%) - €10,707.51  
Advance tax payment (11.11%) - €367.87  
Advance payment - €100,000  
Net payout: €77,824.64 €9,445

The normal advance tax payment of 10.09% does not apply to the first €82,780. That part is only subject to ‘notional amount’ and is calculated as follows:

  • 80% of €82,780 is €66,224.
  • You have to declare 5% of this to the personal income tax authorities for 10 years. That is €3,311.20 every time.
  • The advance tax payment on the payout is 11.11% of that sum, which is €367.87.

Death

Most group insurance policies pay out an amount if you die before you retire. This amount, which is known as a "lump sum death benefit", is paid out to the beneficiary.

You can find this amount on your benefit statement under "Overview of the death benefit plan” or on mygroupsinsurance.vivium.be in the section "How much will my beneficiary receive in the event of my death?". If nothing is mentioned, this means that your group insurance will not provide any payment in the event of death.

The pension rules describe who is entitled to your group insurance benefit in the event of your death. These rules establish a standard order of beneficiaries.

You can request the pension rules from your employer or read them on www.mypension.be.

You can deviate from the standard order of beneficiaries. If you want to make a change, you can do so via this form.

You can deviate from the standard order of beneficiaries provided by the pension rules. If you want to make a change, you can do so via this form.

Tip: Avoid mentioning the beneficiaries by their name. Instead, use a generic description. For example: "my children in equal parts" rather than "my son John". If there are any additions to your family later, this generic description also automatically includes those younger children as beneficiaries.

The death lump sum is subject to tax. There are also parafiscal levies, which are different depending on the beneficiary.

Calculation if the beneficiary in the event of death is your spouse:

Vivium withholds three amounts:

  • A 3.55% contribution to the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance
    This contribution is based on the total gross death lump sum (pension reserves + profit share).
  • A 0%, 1% or 2% solidarity contribution
    This contribution is based on the total gross capital (pension reserves + profit share).
    • 0% for death lump sum less than or equal to €2,478.94
    • 1% for death lump sum between €2,478.95 and €74,368.06
    • 2% for death lump sum greater than or equal to €74,368.06
  • 10.09% or 16.66% advance tax payment
    The advance tax payment is calculated on the death lump sum after the contribution to the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance and the solidarity contribution have been deducted. The profit share is not subject to advance tax payment.
    • 16.66%
      • on the death lump sum resulting from employer contributions
      • on the death lump sum resulting from employee contributions made before 1 January 1993
    • 10.09%
      • on the death capital resulting from employer contributions paid to beneficiaries of employees who died after the statutory retirement age and who effectively continued to work until that age, or paid to beneficiaries of employees who died after meeting the conditions for career completion and who effectively continued to work until those conditions were met
      • on the death lump sum resulting from employee contributions made after 1 January 1993

Calculation if the beneficiary in the event of death is not your spouse:

No contribution to the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance or solidarity contribution needs to be paid. Vivium will withhold the advance tax payment.

  • 10.09% or 16.66% advance tax payment
    The advance tax payment is based on the death lump sum. The profit share is not subject to advance tax payment tax.
    • 16.66%
      • on the death lump sum resulting from employer contributions
      • on the death lump sum resulting from employee contributions made before 1 January 1993
    • 10.09%
      • on the death lump sum resulting from employer contributions paid to beneficiaries of employees who died after the statutory retirement age and who effectively continued to work until that age, or paid to beneficiaries of employees who died after meeting the conditions for career completion and who effectively continued to work until those conditions were met
      • on the death lump sum resulting from employee contributions made after 1 January 1993

Municipal tax

The beneficiary will receive an official tax document from Vivium. The amounts stated on this document must be entered on the tax return. Municipal tax will still be due on advance tax payment already deducted.

If the beneficiaries are your spouse and/or your children who are less than 21 years of age, no inheritance tax will be due on the death lump sum from the group insurance.

For all other persons, including the legally registered cohabitation or non-formalised cohabitation, inheritance tax is due. The amount of the inheritance tax is different in every Belgian region (Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia). In order to determine which rules apply, the tax authorities will determine the region in which you have lived the longest in the five years prior to your death.

If your group insurance is part of a cafeteria plan (you can request the pension rules from your employer or read them on www.mypension.be), you can adjust the death benefit amount within certain limits, provided that you are still effectively employed. In that case, you must request this change to your employer's HR manager or HR department.

Note: A change in the death lump sum will result in a lower or higher premium budget for other types of cover. This may therefore have an impact on the accrual of your supplementary pension.

Incapacity to work

If, as a salaried employee, you are unable to work, your employer will continue to pay your salary during the first month of incapacity to work. This is referred to as the "guaranteed pay" period.

After that month of guaranteed pay, you will no longer receive a salary from your employer. You will then start relying on a social security benefit paid via:

  • your health insurance fund (in case of illness or a private accident in private life); or
  • your insurance company providing the industrial accident cover (in the event of an occupational accident at work).

If you go on maternity leave, you will immediately receive a benefit from the health insurance fund.

Your health insurance fund will pay the benefit in case of illness, a private accident in private life or maternity leave

The statutory social security provisions therefore entitle you to this type of benefit, which is also referred to as a replacement income. Your health insurance fund will make the payments.

You will therefore rely on a lower replacement income, while your current fixed expenses, such as your rent or mortgage, car payments and living expenses, remain the same.

If your group insurance includes disability cover, you will also receive an additional allowance from Vivium on top of the statutory benefits received from your health insurance fund.

You can find Vivium's monthly gross supplement to your replacement income on your benefit statement or on the "Contracts" screen on mygroupinsurance.vivium.be and on your benefit statement.

Vivium's additional supplement will start from the second month of incapacity to work at the earliest, regardless of the cause. This 30-day personal risk period will be in line with the period of guaranteed pay.
In some contracts, a longer personal risk period has been agreed with your employer: 60, 90, 180 or even 365 days. The personal risk period is also shown on your benefit statement.

Contribution by insurance company providing the industrial accident cover (occupational accident at work)

If you have had an accident at work or on the way to or from work, the insurance company providing the industrial accident cover of your employer will start contributing after the month of guaranteed pay. You will then rely on this benefit.

Here too, your employer may have opted for an extra benefit from Vivium. If this is the case, you can find the insured annuity on your benefit statement or on the "Contracts" screen on mygroupsinsurance.vivium.be and on your benefit statement.

A personal risk period always applies to cover of incapacity to work and premium waivers. The personal risk period starts on the day a doctor assesses the incapacity to work. The duration of the personal risk period is shown on your benefit statement.

Vivium will contribute when the personal risk period is over.

As an employee, you are entitled to guaranteed pay in the first month, so Vivium's contribution will start in the second month at the earliest. That is why many group insurance policies have a 30-day personal risk period. In some contracts, a longer personal risk period has been agreed with the employer: 60, 90, 180 or even 365 days.

As a salaried employee, you continue to receive your salary from your employer for one month if you are unable to work due to an accident or illness. This is called the guaranteed pay period.

From the second month, you will rely on the statutory social security provisions. In that case, you will be entitled to a "replacement income" benefit. Your health insurance fund will make the payments.

The statutory benefit will be based on the cause of your incapacity to work:

In the event of illness, a private accident in private life or maternity leave, your health insurance fund will make the payments. More information about the statutory benefit is available on the website of the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance. We have also provided the link to the situation for salaried employees.

In the event of an occupational accident at work, you will receive a benefit from the insurance company providing the industrial accident cover of your employer. You can see the amount of the statutory benefit available on the social security website by following this link.

A replacement income is taxed less than income from employment.

The advance tax payment that is deducted from a replacement income is less than the usual advance tax payment on your salary.

You will have to declare this replacement income separately on your personal income tax return. The final tax will then be calculated.

Because the advance tax payment on benefits is rather low, there is a chance that you will owe more tax at the subsequent tax settlement.

During the first month of your incapacity to work due to illness or an accident, your employer will continue to pay your salary. During this period, your employer will also continue to pay your group insurance premium.

After 30 days of incapacity to work, your employer will stop paying your salary and your group insurance premium. If you are paying a personal group insurance contribution, this will also stop.

If you have premium waiver cover, Vivium will take over the group insurance premium payments in the event of incapacity to work to ensure that your cover is retained.

If you are unable to work for a longer period of time due to illness or an accident or during maternity leave, Vivium will take over your group insurance premium payments. This applies to the employer premiums and to any personal contributions you are making yourself. This ensures that your supplementary pension accrual continues and you stay insured in the event of death.

You are entitled to guaranteed monthly pay as standard, so Vivium's contributions will start from the second month at the earliest. That is why many group insurance policies have a 30-day personal risk period. In some contracts, a longer personal risk period of 60, 90, 180 or even 365 days has been agreed with the employer.

The personal risk period is also shown on your benefit statement.

You must inform your employer as soon as possible.

As soon as you know that you will be unable to work for more than 30 days, follow these steps:

Step 1: Complete the document "Report of illness / accident / pregnancy / childbirth":

  • your employer will provide you with the form, or
  • you can download it yourself here.

This document consists of two parts:

  • You complete the report yourself.
  • Your attending physician needs to complete the medical certificate.
    This is not necessary if your incapacity to work is caused by pregnancy or childbirth and does not exceed the statutory maternity leave period.

Step 2: Send the document

Send the document by email to protection@vivium.be (preferred option)

or

by post to:

Vivium
Attn. the Medical Adviser (HP 0190)
Desguinlei 92
2018 Antwerp

Accidents

An accident is a sudden event resulting in physical injury or death, (one of) the cause(s) of which must not be attributable to the affiliate’s body.

This cover is usually taken out in combination with a group insurance policy (pension plan). It provides a lump sum in the event of death (in some contracts also in the event of complete and permanent physiological disability) as the result of an accident.

An accident that occurs in the context of the victim's personal life is always insured. In that case, the cover screen mygroupinsurance.vivium.be will show "My supplementary benefit in the event of a personal accident".

Some contracts also provide benefits in the event of an occupational accident. In that case, the cover screen will show "My supplementary benefit in the event of an accident".

The insured lump sum will be paid out in the event of:

  • Death resulting from an accident within three years.
    The beneficiary is the same as the beneficiary in the event of death as defined in the pension plan to which this physical accident insurance is linked.

or

  • Total permanent disability resulting from an accident (the injuries are consolidated three years after the accident at the latest).
    The beneficiary is the affiliate themselves.

What is total disability?
Total disability is when the disability percentage is at least 67%.
The level of disability is established in a medical decision based on the Official Belgian Scale to determine the disability level and the applicable Belgian case law.

What is permanent disability?
Permanent disability is when it is proven that the total disability will affect the affiliated individual throughout their life and there is no chance of a significant improvement, even with the appropriate medical treatment.

The lump sum paid out in the event of permanent incapacity to work is taxed based on a system of the ‘notional amount’ which is 1% to 5% of the lump sum depending on the beneficiary's age. In principle, the ‘notional amount’ can be established for 13 years, unless the beneficiary is 65 or older, in which case the declaration period is limited to 10 years.

Other events

Yes, you can request an advance on the accrued pension reserves if the pension rules specifically allow this.
To find out your accrued reserves, consult your benefit statement. You can also log on to mygroupinsurance.vivium.be and go to the "My Contracts" screen, where you will see the amount under "How much have I already saved?".

What can I use the advance on my supplementary pension for?
An advance payment can only be used to acquire, build, improve, repair or convert a real estate property located in the European Economic Area (EEA), or to repay a current mortgage loan.

How much is the advance on my supplementary pension?
The minimum amount granted by Vivium as an advance is €5,000. Vivium charges a start-up fee of €150 for each new advance or increase.

What is the interest rate on the advance on my supplementary pension?
During the term of the advance, the guaranteed interest rate on the borrowed pension reserves is retained, so that your final group insurance capital is not affected.

Do I need to repay the advance on my supplementary pension?
No, this is not compulsory, but you can repay all or part of the withdrawn advance at any time (in instalments of at least 10% at a minimum of €2,500).

What charges do I have to pay if I receive an advance on my supplementary pension?
The withdrawal of an advance always results in a monthly charge by mandatory direct debit that covers the interest due on the advance payment. This is 1% more than the guaranteed interest applicable to your pension reserves and cannot be less than 2%.
When your lump sum is paid out when you retire or in the event of your death, the advance that is still outstanding at the time will be deducted from the net amount to be paid out.

If the pension rules specifically allow it and your bank accepts this type of pledge, you can pledge both the pension capital and the death capital to the bank where you take out a mortgage loan. The bank granting the loan will then become the "accepting beneficiary". In that case, Vivium will make the payment to the bank upon your retirement or in the event of your death.

Pension lump sum
You can take out a mortgage loan and repay it in one go upon your retirement together with the pension lump sum to be paid out.
This means that during the term of the loan, you only have to pay the interest on the loan.

Lump sum in the event of death
Instead of taking out mortgage protection insurance, you can pledge the lump sum in the event of death as security for your mortgage loan. If you die before your loan's maturity date, the net lump sum in the event of death resulting from your group insurance will be used to repay your loan.

No, you cannot deduct the interest paid on an advance payment for your own family home on your tax return.

For interest paid on another property in Belgium or abroad (such as a second home or investment property), it is best to consult your tax adviser.

Your former employer will inform Vivium when you leave the company. Vivium will provide you with the following within one month:

  • An exit letter explaining what you can do with your savings ("accrued reserves").
  • An updated benefit statement showing the insured cover that will continue until the end of the contract without further premium payments.

The exit letter will explain all your options for your saved amount. You will then have 30 days to choose between the following options:

  1. You leave the saved amount where it is

    If you leave the saved amount where it is, the "accrued reserves" will remain without any changes to your (former) employer's pension commitment.

    This is called “paid-up status”: no further deposits will be made, but you will receive the saved amount plus interest when you retire.
    If you choose this option, you do not need to take any further action.
    TIP: Do check if your group insurance still provides death cover.
    You can do this by taking a look at the last benefit statement (your group insurance overview) that you received when you left the company.

    If your group insurance no longer offers any death cover, there will be no payment if you die before your retirement. To avoid this, you will still get an additional option to obtain death cover. You must inform Vivium of your choice within 30 days.
     
  2. You assign the saved amount ("accrued reserves")

    The saved amount (the "accrued reserves") will then leave your former employer's group insurance. From then on, there will be no further entitlement with respect to your former employer. Vivium does not charge any fees for such an assignment. You have the following three options:

2.1 You assign the saved amount to the Vivium reception structure.
There it will be assigned to a new Vivium contract in your name, where it will continue to accrue a fixed interest until the maturity date of your original group insurance, according to the conditions of the reception structure.

If you die before that maturity date, we will pay out the current value of the contract to the appropriate beneficiary as defined in the group insurance before you left the organisation.

The general terms and conditions of the reception structure are available here.

2.2 You assign the saved amount to the group insurance of your new employer.
This ensures that all your accrued reserves are managed by the same insurer from an administrative perspective. You can ask your new employer how the pension institution responsible for managing your new group insurance will use your reserves. It is important to know the interest rate for the accrual of the reserves in the new group insurance. The interest rates used may be different.

2.3 You assign the saved amount to a common insurance institution.
If your new employer does not offer group insurance or if you want to centralise the (different) amounts you saved with your previous employers, you can also assign your money to a common insurance institution.

This is a pension institution "that limits costs and distributes profits among its members in proportion to their reserves".
Such a pension institution will include your established reserves in a new contract in your name.

Information on a common insurance institution is available on the FSMA website. Click here for more information.

You can obtain more information on the conditions and any applicable charges from these common insurance institutions.

If you want to use one of these three options, you must inform Vivium within 30 days.

No, you cannot continue saving yourself within the group insurance tax system after you have left the company. The premium payment will stop automatically.

It is also impossible to assign the money from the group insurance to an individual pension contract, as the taxation is different.

If you would like to continue to build up your pension after you leave the organisation, you can do so individually under a pension savings or long-term savings contract. Contact your broker if you wish to do this.

In some group insurance policies, your family status will have an impact on the insured cover. For example, the insured capital in the event of death may be different for married couples than for singles. Whether this is the case for your group insurance will be mentioned in the pension rules. You can request the pension rules from your employer or read them on www.mypension.be.

If there is a change in your family status, you must inform your employer.

Your employer will then inform Vivium and Vivium will adjust your group insurance as mentioned in the pension rules.

Marriage
If you marry, your spouse will automatically become the beneficiary in the event of your death according to the standard beneficiary rules.

Divorce
Note: If you have ever adjusted the beneficiary by explicitly mentioning the name of your partner at the time, you must contact Vivium in case of a divorce in order to have this changed. For example, if the beneficiary in the event of your death is "my spouse John Mullock" rather than the more generic "my husband", the name of your ex-husband will have to be deleted or replaced by something else in the event of a divorce. If not, your ex-partner will remain your beneficiary. If you want to make such a change, you can do so with this form.

Your employer will inform Vivium of the change in your number of working hours.

If you switch to a part-time employment contract, your group insurance will be reduced accordingly. For more information, read the pension rules on www.mypension.be or request the pension rules from your employer.