Thousands of demonstrators turned out in Brussels on Monday (24 October) in protest against the government's policy on retirement pensions.
GV & SV Pensions demonstrators marching through street with banners, flags and music -- Brussels, Belgium (2 shots)
SV People watching from balcony
CU PAN Banners
GVs Demonstrators marching with banners (2 shots)
LV Demonstrators marching past police car
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Background: Thousands of demonstrators turned out in Brussels on Monday (24 October) in protest against the government's policy on retirement pensions.
SYNOPSIS: Old age pensions in Belgium are not standardised -- and that is what most of the demonstrators want. Self-employed workers get the lowest retirement pensions, then come the blue collar workers, and the highest pensions go to the white collar workers. The 5,000 marchers made their point with banners and music -- there was no violence.
One union wants the pensions standardised, but many retired workers do not agree. They claim that people who have been working hardest would still receive inadequate pensions. Other organisations, including the National Union of Pensioners (SNP) are asking for a national pension based on workers' salaries averaged over their working lives -- but some unions object to the idea. They say the better-paid people would then be receiving high pensions, while badly-paid workers would get the lowest pensions -- even though they had little or no money saved for their retirement.