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Protection of personal data

We are aware that you place your trust in us. We therefore see it as our responsibility to protect your privacy. On this page we will let you know which of your personal data we consult when you submit a request (including a complaint), why we consult these personal data and to whom and why we may transfer your personal data. In this way, you will understand exactly how we work.

1. To what end do we use your personal data?

The personal data are intended for the (statutory) tasks of the Pensions Ombudsman.
These assignments are (as set out in the Royal Decree of 27 April 1997 establishing a Pensions Ombudsman's Service, ratified by the Act of 12 December 1997):

  • Investigating complaints about the actions and functioning of pension services (Art. 3, par. 1, 1°).

  • Investigating complaints about the determination of the rights of pensioners and future pensioners to a statutory pension and/or about the payment and the amount of the pension (Art. 3, par. 1, 2°).

  • Pursuing mediation and reconciliation between the citizen and the pension service (art. 3, par. 1, 3°).

  • Referring (article 3, paragraph 2): for complaints for which we are not competent or which are inadmissible, we will refer you to/or we will forward the complaints to the competent Ombudsman's service or the appropriate service. We do this in order to fulfil our role as mediator.
    If we decide to refer you or to forward your complaint, we will inform you immediately (Art. 12). If there is the slightest suspicion that your privacy will be harmed, we will first ask for your permission before transmitting your complaint.

  • Reporting (Art. 3, par. 1, 4°)
    Every year we submit a report to the Chamber of Representatives, the Minister of Pensions and the Federale Adviesraad voor Ouderen (FAVO) / Conseil consultatif fédéral des aînés (CCFA). We list the most striking complaints that the Ombudsman has dealt with. If your complaint is discussed in the Annual Report, it is possible that we will transfer your personal data to the federal pension services.

The Ombudsman is committed to complying with all applicable privacy laws when carrying out these assignments.

2. What is the legal basis?

The legal basis for the functioning of the Pensions Ombudsman's Service can be found in the Royal Decree of 27 April 1997 establishing a Pensions Ombudsman's Service. This Royal Decree was ratified by the Act of 12 December 1997 on the ratification of the royal decrees adopted pursuant to the aforementioned Act of 26 July 1996 aimed at realising the budgetary conditions for Belgium's participation in the European Economic and Monetary Union.

Article 19 of the Royal Decree of 27 April 1997 provides that the Ombudsman shall draw up internal regulations containing the detailed rules and time limits for dealing with complaints.
The Rules of Procedure entered into force on 1 January 2000 and, after approval by the Minister of Pensions, were published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 4 February 2000. An addition to the internal regulations (Article 14) entered into force on 1 January 2001 and was published in the Belgian Official Gazette of 16 December 2000.

3. What personal data do we consult?

In response to a request (including a complaint) that you submit to us, the Pensions Ombudsman's Service may, via access to the applications of the Federal Pension Service (FPS) and the National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-employed (NISSE), consult the following personal data for the life span of your complaint file (from registration to final closure):

  • Social security identification number, name, first names, date of birth, place of birth, date of death, place of death, nationality, sex, language role, telephone and mobile number, e-mail address, method of correspondence, address, marital status, composition of the family and codes of quality.

  • Your pension file containing, among other things, all the information available to the pension services about the benefits granted by the FPS and the NISSE and paid for by the FPS, all correspondence between you, the FPS and the NISSE, all documents exchanged between the FPS, the NISSE and the other services, etc.

  • MyPension: this contains the personal details of your pension file in the same way as they are offered to you on the internet.

  • Career data: Capelo (= the database representing the electronic career data of public sector employees) and E-clipz (= the database representing the electronic career data of the self-employed: including affiliations to social security funds and professional income), among others.

Concerning the consultation of the information data and the identification number of the National Register, the Pensions Ombudsman has obtained authorisation from the Sectoral Committee of the National Register. For the purpose of consulting of the data in the databases of the FPS and the NISSE, the Pensions Ombudsman has obtained the authorisation of the sectoral committee of social security and of health, department "Social Security".

Your social security identification details are stored in the database of the Pensions Ombudsman's Service. We also keep the personal data from your pension file, which we need to treat your complaint, in a digital file on our network drive without changing this information.

In response to a request you submit to us, the Ombudsman's Service can request all elements of the pension files held by the pension services.  

4. To whom may we communicate your personal data?

Your personal data (request or complaint, including your social security identification details, name, address) can be communicated to the Belgian federal pension services (FPS, NISSE, HR-Rail, NSSO, Ethias) in order to start mediation.

If you have not yet contacted the Belgian federal pension service about which you complain, your personal data may also be transferred to this federal Belgian pension service in order to allow it to process your complaint (after all, the Pensions Ombudsman only treats second-line complaints).

In addition, your personal data (request or complaint, including your social security identification details) may be transmitted to:

  • Another competent foreign mediation service if you submit a complaint about a foreign pension

  • The Minister of Pensions when your complaint concerns the general pension policy

  • Another public service when your complaint concerns the functioning of a service other than a Belgian federal pension service (e.g. a complaint about the system of unemployment with company supplement to the RVA/ONEM, a complaint about the personal income tax that you, as a pensioner, have to pay to the FPS Finance).

5. Is the communication of data limited to the EU?

No. We may also forward your personal data (request or complaint, including your social security identification number, name, address) to a competent foreign pension service or Ombudsman's service.

6. How long will your data be stored?

The Pensions Ombudsman's Service stores your personal data in a database and in a digital file. This data will be kept forever. This enables us to consult your previous file(s) in the event of a new complaint submitted by you. On this basis, we can determine the possible evolution of your complaint or recover information from your previous files that we need in order to pass our judgement and draw up the final letter that we send you at the end of our mediation.

The consultation of your personal data in the databases of the federal pension services only lasts for the lifetime of your complaint file, i.e. from registration to final closure.

7. What rights do you have?

You have the right to inspect, rectify or delete the personal data and file data. For this purpose, you should contact the Pensions Ombudsman, W.T.C. III, Bd. Simon Bolivarlaan 30 box 5, B-1000 Brussels  or by e-mail at complaint@ombudsmanpensions.be.

You may also request that your complaint or request not be forwarded to another service (Ombudsman's service, Federal Pension Service, etc.).

8. Can I revoke my consent?

You can withdraw access to your personal data. This does mean, however, that we will no longer be able to treat your complaint.

9. How can you file a complaint?

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Commission for the Protection of Privacy (CPP) if you suspect that the processing of your personal data is not carried out in accordance with the applicable legislation.

10. What are our main sources of information?

In its investigation, the Pensions Ombudsman's Service is limited to consulting your personal data transferred by and/or consulted in the above-mentioned applications of the federal pension services.

11. Contact details

Pensions Ombudsman
W.T.C. III, Bd. Simon Bolivarlaan 30 box 5
B-1000 Brussels 
e-mail to complaint@ombudsmanpensions.be or dpo@minsoc.fed.be