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9 benefits that reduce wage costs

What if you can reward your employees and at the same time reduce your wage costs? This is possible thanks to the numerous tax- and social contribution-free fringe benefits.

Posted on 10 June 2020
Consult our case 'Hiring your first employee'

Would you like to reward an employee, but cannot afford to increase their salary? Have you thought about fringe benefits? Increasingly popular in Belgium, they allow you to attract and retain talent while reducing your wage costs. Here are ten to choose from.

#1 Meal vouchers

More than 7 out of 10 Belgians enjoy them. And with good reason: they are exempt from social security contributions and deductible at up to 1 euro per cheque, so they are half as costly to you as an equivalent pay rise. And your employee boosts their purchasing power by more than 40%.

#2 Eco vouchers

Also exempt from social security contributions, these vouchers encourage your employee to opt for environmentally-friendly products and services. Your image as a sustainable employer will consequently be enhanced.

#3 Hospital Insurance

Offered by most large companies, hospital insurance remains the exception among SMEs. However, formats adapted to very small companies do exist. This benefit is totally exempt from social security contributions and is a good way to find staff.

#4 Group insurance

Here again, this is a benefit mainly offered by large companies. However, be  aware that the premiums you pay to contribute to your employees' supplementary pension are deductible as an operating cost. And capital taxation proves advantageous in the long run.

#5 Company car

As a result of traffic jams, cycling is gaining in popularity. It is therefore in your best interest to offer this option to your employee. If the bike is used for commuting to and from work, the savings for you are considerable:

  • No taxes or social security contributions
  • Bicycle allowance 100% deductible as an expense
  • Bicycle equipment and maintenance costs 100% deductible

#6 Company bike

The travel allowance is exempt from social security contributions for both you and your employee.

#7 The salary bonus

Has your company hit its targets? Then you can pay your employee a bonus - a bonus which, up to a certain ceiling, is not considered as remuneration. You will therefore have no tax to pay, just a special employer's contribution equivalent to 33% of this benefit.

#8 Warrants

These options on shares in listed companies are 100% tax-deductible and exempt from social security contributions. The employee can cash them in as soon as he or she receives them, thus limiting stock market risk. The employee will just pay the retention  tax.

#9 Birth and marriage allowances

These small but appreciated one-off benefits are not subject to social security contributions, up to a limit of € 50 per birth and € 200 per marriage.

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