The Netherlands government announced that Dutch pension reform is delayed to 2023. Originally slated to go into effect in January 2022, the complexity of the issue caused the government to delay enacting the reforms until January 2023. Other legislative updates involve parental leave and home office allowances.
New legislation to reform the Dutch pension system will not come into effect until January 1, 2023, over a year later than expected. The delay in passing the new legislation is due to the complexity of the issue.
Last year, social partners and the Dutch government reached an agreement on pension reforms in the Netherlands. The agreement’s primary aims are to:
- Abolish defined benefit schemes
- Prescribe flat rates for defined contribution schemes
Originally the reforms were to come into effect through an accelerated legislative approval process beginning January 1, 2022 (with a transition period from 2022 to 2026). However, since the legislation took more time than expected to be prepared, the planned implementation date is postponed to January 1, 2023. Furthermore, the transition period has been delayed as well from 2023 to 2027.
The government has decided to pay the first 9 weeks of parental leave. Parents can take up to 26 weeks’ leave.
The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) pays 50% of an employee’s daily wages during parental leave, up to 50% of the maximum daily wage (annual amount is €58,311 in 2021). Parents will have to use the 9 weeks of paid leave in the first year after the child is born. After that, they can use the remaining 17 weeks as they wish up to the child’s 8th birthday. Unless stated differently in the collective labor agreement (CAO) or company policy, this leave will be unpaid.
This change in the law will likely come into force on August 2, 2022.
Home Office Allowance
On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, the Dutch Ministry of Finance published the 2022 Tax Plan. Some proposals, such as the home office allowance, are relevant to Dutch employers.
Beginning January 1, 2022, the government is introducing a non-taxable home office expense allowance of up to €2 per day or part of a day. Research by the National Institute for Family Finance Information (Nibud) helped set the amount. Under these plans, employers can agree with employees on the number of home workdays and use this basis to calculate a fixed expense allowance.
This tax-free allowance will be a specific exemption within the Work-related expenses scheme (Werkkostenregeling or WKR). This WKR scheme enables employers to spend part of their total taxable wages (the ‘discretionary scope’) on allowances, benefits in kind, and provisions for their employees without tax liability
Important note: Employers cannot pay a working-from-home allowance on days for which your employee also receives a (fixed) tax-free travel expenses allowance. Both allowances may be applied simultaneously in so-called ‘hybrid working,’ as long as the allowances are applied pro-rata. However, in such cases, you must make arrangements with your employee regarding the number of days spent working from home and at the office.
This information about Dutch pension reform is provided by Schouten Zekerheid, Asinta’s employee benefits consulting Partner in the Netherlands.