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Long-term cash benefit paid at regular intervals and for the most part in constant amounts, with eligibility usually based on the payment of contributions:

1. on attainment of a particular age (old-age pension) or on cessation of active employment (retirement pension);

2. for invalidity in the event of permanent incapacity to carry on adequately gainful employment (invalidity pension);

3. to surviving relatives of those in whose right pension entitlement resides, more particularly a surviving wife (widow's pension), a surviving husband (widower's pension) or surviving children (orphans' pension).

In contrast to an annuity, a pension is not necessarily equivalent in value to the contributions or premiums paid. Its value may also be fixed in accordance with other criteria, such as the number of payments made, the number of years of service, level of pay earned, etc.

As at January 1, 1991 there were 1,641,865 pension beneficiaries in Belgium, with an average monthly pension value of 20,317 Belgian francs. See retirement pension .

Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.

Page last updated: 14 August, 2009