Recently, a social security agreement has come into force between Belgium and Brazil. This has important consequences for expatriates, who are assigned between these countries.
The treaty determines in which country social security contributions are to be paid by employees and by self-employed workers.
The base principle is the payment of the contributions in the country, where the professional activities are carried out.
There are various special rules and/or exceptions to this base principle. It is noted that the new treaty deviates in several ways from other bilateral social security treaties, so that one carefully has to look at the applicable rules:
There is also a special rule for persons, who simultaneously have a self-employed activity in Belgium and an employee activity in Brazil. In such case, the activity in Brazil is treated as an employment activity in Belgium. By consequence all activities will be subject to the Belgian social security system.
2. Social security benefits
The treaty now enables the ‘exportation’ of social security benefits, such as pensions from one treaty country to the other. This offers the advantage to persons, who work during a number of years in the other treaty country under the local social security regime, to keep their benefits, even if at some point in time they move back to their initial home country.