What are Employee Benefits?
Easy said, employee benefits (EB, also called benefits in kind, fringe benefits, perquisites, or perks) are any form of compensation paid to employees in addition to their normal wages or salaries.
Examples of employee benefits include meal vouchers, health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, pension plan, group insurance, income protection, tuition reimbursement, childcare benefits, company car, electric bike, extra vacation, relocation assistance, home office furniture, workplace perks, …
Employee Benefits in Belgium
Given the heavy tax burden in Belgium, extra-legal benefits are quite common and popular. With extra-legal benefits, a belgian employer can offer (extra-legal) advantages whereby his / her employees will be motivated and protected. Besides, some of these employee benefits are exempted from tax and social security charges, provided that certain conditions are met. Your payroll provider can check this for you.
In Belgium, employees are entitled to a state pension provided that they have worked at least 30 years out of the last 45. But the amount of the pension is rather limited. According to the number of employees, and depending on their security and return expectations, an employer can offer a tailor-made pension plan (fixed premiums or defined benefit).
One of the most common forms of employee benefits in Belgium is group insurance. Generally speaking, such an insurance guarantees pension capital, capital in case of death, incapacity to work and health insurance. Sometimes, these benefits are partly funded by employees.
Work only with a licensed insurance broker. You can verify the identity of a broker on the website of the FSMA (Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority).
All employees in Belgium must contribute to a health insurance fund (a mutuelle). Most medical costs are partly reimbursed by the health insurance fund. Employers can provide employees with an additional health insurance cover as employee benefit.