Pension reform : Progress for arts workers in Belgium

October 26 2023

In the context of Working in the Arts, the federal government has undertaken a series of reforms aimed at improving the socio-economic situation of arts workers. This initiative is an important step towards recognising the specific characteristics of this creative sector.  

The current phase of reform focuses on the pensions of arts workers. For the first time, the logic of the status of artist is being extended to pensions, which means that people who have had this status in the past or who will be working with arts work certification in the future will benefit from these improvements.  

The pension reform includes specific measures for arts workers, which apply to the years during which the artist had this status or during which the arts worker benefits from an arts work allowance.  

The main advances of the reform for arts workers are as follows:  

1. Access to the minimum pension is now also subject to the cachet rule  

Access to the minimum pension is now subject to the cachet rule*, similar to access to the arts allowance. This means that the days obtained by the cachet rule are taken into account in addition to the actual working days to reach the 5,000 working days for a full-time guaranteed minimum pension (or 3,120 days for a part-time guaranteed minimum pension).  

*The formula used to convert a piecework payment into a fictitious number of days worked.  

2. For access to the minimum pension, an additional increase coefficient of 1.42 is applied.  

It was not easy for many arts workers to access a minimum pension because of the significant and often invisible preparatory work, even with the application of the cachet rule.   

To facilitate access to a minimum pension, a gross-up coefficient is applied. By multiplying the number of days worked and the number of cachet days by 1.42, it will now be possible for arts workers to reach the minimum pension threshold with a sufficient number of performance days.  

Compensation resulting from the assignment or licensing of copyright and related rights

There is also something new concerning the assignment or licensing of copyright and related rights: following the publication of the Royal Decree setting out new guidelines in this area, the NSSO has published an administrative instruction specifying, among other things: 

  • the conditions under which compensation for the transfer of copyright and related rights may be exempt from social security contributions.  
  • a method for regularising amounts not declared to the NSSO in the past.  
  • a specific application to establish the maximum convertible amount to be reported.The application is made available by the NSSO on the social security portal site (for companies and social secretariats respectively). Please note: this amount must be declared by 31/12/2023 at the latest 

More information?

Link to the NSSO instruction 

Link to the publication in the Moniteur belge of the new regulations in question

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