Skip to main content

The 2023 purchasing power premium is here!

Share this page

Already in November 2022, the federal government reached a wage agreement for the period 2023-2024, deciding that there was no room for a wage cost increase on top of indexations or baremic increases. Thus, the wage norm was set at 0%. 

However, to accommodate the reboot of the economy after the energy crisis, companies in sectors that are doing well can grant a purchasing power premium to their employees, similar to the corona premium in 2021. This legislation was published on 28 April 2023. 

The following points are important:

What?  A (para)tax-advantaged premium in the form of a paper or electronic consumption voucher that can be awarded once to employees.
Which employers?  The employer whose company achieved (exceptionally) high profits in 2022.
How to allocate? 
  • Principle: The allocation of the purchasing power premium should be regulated by a collective bargaining agreement at industry or company level:
    • An CBA at industry level should provide definitions of high profits in 2022 and exceptionally high profits in 2022. 
    • A CBA at company level should not provide for those definitions, but should account for the fact that it obtained good results during the crisis.
  • Exception: The allocation can be accommodated by individual agreement, without additional conditions when a collective bargaining agreement cannot be reached because:
    • There is no trade union representation; or
    • it involves a personnel category for which it is not customary to conclude a collective bargaining agreement.

Possibly further clarification of the concept of "company" (e.g., legal entity or technical business unit) will be provided at the sectoral level. In any case, it is therefore advisable to wait for the sectoral negotiations before taking steps at company level to avoid contradictions with sectoral collective bargaining agreements or exceeding the social security ceiling. 

How much?
  • Companies with high profits can award a premium of up to 500 euros;
  • Companies with exceptionally high profits can award a premium of up to 750 euros.

A lower amount may be provided at the sector or company level.

Duration The purchasing power premium can be granted from 1 June until  31 December 2023 and has a limited validity until 31 December 2024.
What can the premium be spent on? 
  • Payment for a meal or for the purchase of ready-to-use food; and
  • The purchase of products and services of an ecological nature included in the list attached to CBA n° 98 as provided for eco vouchers. 
Taxation and social security?
  • The purchasing power premium will be exempt from normal social security contributions, subject to compliance with conditions not to be considered salary. However, a special employer social security contribution of 16.5% will be due.
  • The premium is tax exempt. Both the premium and the special employer contribution are deductible as professional expenses.

Note that the tax and social treatment has yet to be further finalized into law.