Social security agreement between Belgium and India

The Belgian government and India signed a historical agreement on social security on 3 November 2006. The agreement is expected to apply from July 2009 onwards and will have major consequences on the social security status of Belgian employees who are or will be seconded to India.

Employees who will be seconded to India as from the entry into force of the agreement

Once the agreement comes into force, Belgian employers will be able to apply for a certificate of coverage from the Belgian social security authorities. This certificate will allow Belgian seconded employees to remain subject to the Belgian social security scheme and to be exempt from paying Indian social security contributions while on assignment to India (for a period of up to 5 years with a possible extension upon agreement by both social security authorities).

Employees who were seconded to India before the entry into force of the agreement

The majority of the employees that are currently on assignment in India are affiliated to the Overseas Social Security Scheme (DOSZ/OSSOM). Although the coverage under DOSZ/OSSOM can be maintained once the agreement enters into force, many employers will want to cancel this coverage and enjoy the benefits of secondment under the agreement. In this respect, it is important to note that the Belgian social security administration does not consider DOSZ/OSSOM periods as being assimilated to Belgian social security periods for the purpose of secondment. This means that it will not be possible to obtain a certificate of coverage for an employee who is affiliated to DOSZ/OSSOM unless he returns to the cover of the Belgian social security regime for at least 1 day. The employee will need to return to Belgium and to be registered with DIMONA for at least 1 day before the application for a certificate of coverage can be made.