BELGIUM – The Belgian government has set up a committee of 12 experts to assess the ongoing reform of the country's pension system.

The committee is to provide advice on specific reforms that could contribute to the efficiency and sustainability of the system for the 2020-2040 period.

It would work autonomously and in private on scenarios for political and social debate, according to Alexander de Croo, the minister for pensions.

In recent months, the government has raised the legal retirement age to 65 and decided to allow early retirement from the age of 60.5, after a working career of at least 38 years.

In 2016, the minimum age for early retirement will be raised to 62, with a minimum working career of 40 years.

De Croo recently argued that increasing the official retirement age would be effective only if other schemes that make early retirement attractive are adjusted as well.

He also pointed out that the average working career in Belgium is just 29 years, and that the actual retirement age is 59 on average.

The experts committee is to provide concrete recommendations in the spring of 2014.