Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the United States


If you worked in Belgium you may apply for a retirement pension. A full pension can be collected at age 65 or a reduced pension starting at age 60. If your deceased spouse worked in Belgium, you may apply for a survivor’s pension (pension checks will not be addressed automatically to the surviving spouse!).

How do I apply for a retirement or a survivor’s pension?

As a result of the Social Security Agreement between the USA and Belgium and because you reside in the U.S.A., you have to request the application form (SSA-2490-BK) for a retirement or a survivor’s pension from Belgium from the U.S. Social Security Administration, either your local branch or the:

Social Security Administration
Office of International Programs
P.O. Box 17741
Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7741

Tel.:1-800-772-1213 | www.socialsecurity.gov/international

The text of the Social Security Agreement between Belgium and the USA is available on the website of the Social Security Administration: www.ssa.gov.

Certificate of Life

The certificate of life is a document that proves that you are presently alive in order to receive or keep your Belgian pension. This document is issued yearly by the Belgian federal pension service. You must include the required personal information on this form yourself and subsequently have it legalized by the competent authorities.

Attention: Non-Belgians must contact their national authorities in their country of residence. In the U.S., the certificate of life can be legalized for non-Belgians by a notary public.

Our consular posts in the U.S. only confirm that the person mentioned in the certificate of life is presently still alive. Additionally, you must personally present yourself at the consular post and provide an piece of identification. If it is not possible to present yourself in person at the consular post due to reasons of practicality (illness, age, limited means of transportation) then the declaration can only be validated from distance on the basis of a medical attestation in addition to a valid piece of identification that proves that you are presently alive.

This service is performed at no cost and is only available to Belgian citizens.

Although the certificate of life mentions that you can have the document stamped by the mayor’s office or your local police department, these options are not available in the U.S.

If you reside in the U.S., you instead have three alternative options to legalize the certificate of life:

  1. Through a Belgian consular post in the U.S. as is mentioned in the procedure above.
  2. Through a local notary public.
  3. By mail (only possible if you are unable to present yourself in person at the consular post due to reasons of practicality). In this case, please provide a medical attestation accompanied by a valid piece of identification.

Upon the legalization of the certificate of life by the consular post, the original document will be mailed back to you.

Afterwards, you must forward the certificate of life to the pension office, either by regular mail or by e-mail. Please carefully review the letterhead of the pension office in order to obtain the corresponding e-mail address and/or address of the pension office.

My spouse was receiving a pension from Belgium and passed away. What do I do?

First of all, don’t cash the checks coming from Belgium in his/her name. You would have to reimburse these amounts. Notify immediately the Pension Office in Belgium by sending them a copy of the death certificate. You can then apply for a survivor’s pension.

How will my pension be paid?

The amount of your pension will be calculated in euros and unless you have a bank account in Belgium, it will usually be paid monthly (yearly if it is a very small amount) with a check in US$ you will receive in the mail at the end of the month.

Always inform the Pension Office if any change occurs regarding your address, profession, civil status or the other pensions you receive, as this may influence your Belgian pension. If you are still a Belgian citizen please report address, profession or civil status changes to the diplomatic or consular mission where you are registered. The Belgian Pension Office will automatically be updated. If you are not registered at the Belgian consulate, please forward all changes by letter, signed by you and a copy of the official documents confirming the change. An e-mail is not accepted and does not suffice.

What institution in Belgium is in charge of pensions and how can I contact them?

For employees:

Federal Pensions Service

Zuidertoren – Tour de Midi 
Esplanade de l'Europe 1
1060 Brussels

Tel.: 011 32 78 15 1765
Fax: 011-32-2-529-3845

General information questions can be addressed to: 
Email: info@sfpd.fgov.be
or via the website - www.onprvp.fgov.be. Please click on contact on top of the screen and send an email via the interactive screen in the middle of your screen. Your question will be forwarded to the correct department.

Information about the allocation: 
Tel.: 011-32-2-529-2311 (in Dutch) 
or 011-32-2-529-2748 (in French or German)

Information about the payments: 
011-32-2-529-3001 (in French) 
011-32-2-529-3002 (in Dutch) 
011-32-2-529-3003 (in German) 
fax: 011-32-2-529-2159 

The office hours of the Federal Pension Service are from 8:30 am to 12 noon and from 1 pm to 5 pm

For the self-employed:

Institut National d’assurance sociale des travailleurs indépendants (INASTI) / 
Rijksdienst voor de sociale verzekeringen der zelfstandigen (RSVZ) 
Place Jean Jacobs 6 / Jan Jacobsplein 6 
B-1000 Bruxelles / B-1000 Brussel 
Tel.: 011-32-2-507.62.11 of 011-32-2-546.42.11 
Fax: 011-32-2-511-2153 or 011-32-2-513-0413 
Email: info@rsvz-inasti-fgov.be

What do I do if I have a big problem or complaint?

Write to:

Ombudsdienst Pensioenen 
W.T.C. III Simon Bolivarlaan 30 bus 5 
B-1000 Brussels 
Tel.: 011-32-2-20803131 (between Belgian office hours 9 am to 5 pm local time) 
Fax: 011-32-2-208.3143 
Email: ombud.pen@skynet.be

Is it possible to find out in advance how much I will get approximately when I retire?

Yes, by contacting:

Service “Info-Pension” 
BP 175 
B-1060 Brussels 
Tel.: 011-32-2-529-2531 
Fax: 011-32-2-529-2172