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The world is getting smaller all the time and careers are becoming more dynamic, with more international opportunities than ever. In the course of their careers, many people change employers or the country in which they work. And for trusted social security, some turn to Overseas Social Security (OSS).

But who are these expats? We took a look in our databases in search of answers.

Belgians embrace international opportunities

An interesting analysis of the linguistic distribution among OSS affiliated workers shows a diverse and dynamic community. Just over half of our members take out a tailored insurance package and manage their own contract. The remaining members participate in food sharing and have a collective contract through their employer.

Among individual affiliations, the ratio of French-speaking to Dutch-speaking members is almost equal, showing a balanced representation of the two main language groups in Belgium. However, this balance changes when we look at employers that affiliate their employees. Dutch-speaking employers seem more inclined to send their employees abroad. This may indicate a culture of international mobility and entrepreneurship within these companies.

It is also encouraging to see that female workers are increasingly well represented, although there is still a considerable way to go. Currently, about three-quarters of our members are men.

Adventurers of all ages

Belgian expats are a diverse group of adventurers at different stages of life. From seasoned professionals in their 'fabulous fifties' to radiant forty-somethings and thirty-somethings just embarking on their international journey.


OSS's client base is anything but uniform, with a colourful mix of nationalities enriching our organisation. We can conclude that European expats in general have a strong international drive. Participation is not limited only to Belgians; other nationalities can join too (see terms and conditions of participation).

The majority of members are nevertheless Belgian, however. Additionally, French expats are our largest group of non-Belgians, reflecting the historical ties between Belgium and France – after all Belgian fries are still often called 'French fries'.

This vibrant mix also includes Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese members, highlighting the cross-border nature of our organisation. Just as every good recipe needs different spices to achieve a perfect balance of flavours, the OSS offers every expat the social protection they are used to at home. This way, they don't have to worry and can fully enjoy their international adventure.

Destination 'Abroad'

Our members are global citizens who transcend borders and are located in almost all countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). From the bustling streets of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the glittering skyline of the United Arab Emirates, to the vibrant energy of the United States to the cultural richness of China – our members are exploring and achieving their dreams around the world.


OSS supports more than 30,000 pensioners around the world. Some of them return to Belgium after a life of adventure, where they are reintegrated into the Belgian social security system without any waiting period. In second place is France, with about 2,942 pensioners, followed by Spain, Italy and the United States. Switzerland is also popular (7th), as are Canada and South Africa.

World Citizens

After taking a close look at the statistics, we can say that Belgian expats are not bound by borders. They are global citizens who embrace international challenges and pursue their dreams wherever they are in the world. But this always with a dash of security from home to support them on their adventure.

Want to know more?

Want to know more about our services and how we can support you?

Then be sure to take a look at our website: www.overseassocialsecurity.be/nl/(New window).

Would you like to share your travel experiences?

Are you an expat or do you know someone with an inspiring experience abroad? Please don't hesitate to contact us at overseas-expat@onssrszlss.fgov.be. And who knows, you might inspire future expats with your story.

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