Is public spending on pensions in Belgium sustainable ? A comparison with other euro area countries

Article published in the Economic Review of 2023

Belgium, like other European countries, is currently experiencing a grey wave. The share of pensioners in the total population will only continue to rise in the coming decades, while that of the working-age population is shrinking. This situation puts pressure on public finances and raises questions about the sustainability of public spending on pensions in Belgium. Is (projected) pension expenditure in Belgium higher than in other euro area countries? If so, what are the root causes for this and what policy options could be used to improve the financial sustainability of pension spending? Finally, how does Belgium compare with other countries in terms of the social sustainability of its pension expenditure?

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