BELGIUM - A report from the European Union regarding personal attitudes to pensions has found that just under half of Belgians believe that pensions are taken prematurely.

Some 49% of Belgians say people are taking their pensions too early, though around 16% states the opposite.

One striking outcome of the research was that most of those aged 55 and over, including those on pension and those still working, stated that people should be working longer.

The Belgian position is not unique in the EU, based on the report's findings, but is in pole position in its attitude towards longer working and delaying pensions. Overall, 45% of Europeans feels the same way.

Instead of saying that pension payments were the main reason for complaint, most interviewed stated that they were unhappy with the fact that they were forced to take a pension. That their pensions would have been higher had the pension age been delayed, was also given as reason.

A number of employees believe the fact that they will loose contact with colleagues and lose out on financial gains are given as further reasons.