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Rules of receiving prime fin d'annee (end of year bonus)

Question

Does anyone have any experience with receiving "prime fin d'annee" Are there any criteria's in receiving an end of year bonus? Such as length of time in the company. Any personal experiences would be very useful.

My personal situation is that it is stated on my contract that I should receive this but however I have not. I have been in the company for 3.5 months will this affect whether I receive it or not? We currently have no in house human resources so I am trying to get advice before, to avoid confusion before I approach my employer.

Any advice would be useful.
Thanks.

Answer
ao Jan 1, 2016 13:28

The usual rule (the regulations depend a bit on the collective labor agreements) is that in order to be entitled to the 13th month premium you have to work in the company minimum 6 months during the accrual year and be employed in the last day of the year. In case of 6-12 months in the company the 13th month payment is calculated pro rata. So in your case it is likely you will not be entitled to the premium until end of 2016.

Answer
SD Jan 2, 2016 02:28

As said by AO, the rules are different depending on which 'paritair comité' your company belongs to. Not all PC's even have an end-of-year bonus, and some of them use a different method to calculate them. The so-called 13th month is just one type of end-of-year bonus, though it is common and also quite easy to calculate since it is based on your monthly salary (as the name implies).
If it really is a thirteenth month that you are entitled to, chances are that your company follows the rules of PC 200 (the general PC for white collar workers) even if it does not actually belong to that PC. In that case, the criteria mentioned by AO apply and you do not yet have enough seniority to be entitled to your end-of-year bonus.

Answer
kasseistamper Jan 2, 2016 10:59

My understanding is that an end of year bonus has nothing whatsoever to do with the '13th month'.
I am now retired but I can quote my wife's situation. The '13th month' was added to her salary at the end of April and was based on 50% of a standard month's salary. It is common for the percentage to be (well) over 80% but there are no fixed rules.
The end of year bonus was paid on 15 December totally separately from the regular monthly salary. The bonus is based on the company's annual performance and is not guaranteed should the business not do well. However, everyone who qualifies should be paid if a bonus is given to anyone.
Both the bonus and the '13th month' are taxed at the highest marginal tax rate.
Even if you have not got an HR department, you must be able to ask a colleague. 'My contract mentions an end of year bonus but I haven't had one. When is it paid? Did you get anything? Does my short service affect my entitlement this year?' and so on.

Answer
SD Jan 2, 2016 13:38

Kasseistamper, it is possible that this was the case at your wife's company, but then these were bonuses that had nothing to do with the 'eindejaarspremie/prime de fin d'année' that the OP is talking about, unless this is paid in April where she worked (which is quite uncommon since it is obviously usually in December). The actual end-of-year bonus is strictly regulated by your PC; a place can offer more than what is prescribed, for example by following the more advantageous rules of another PC, but never less. It has absolutely nothing to do with the company's financial performance. A 13th month is simply a colloquial term to describe one of the most common and simple forms of end-of-year bonuses, where it is based on a full monthly salary (hence the name).
However, you are correct that all exceptional bonuses, including the end-of-year bonus, are subjected to separate tax rates. That's why a 13th month in the proper sense of the term is generally the same gross amount as your monthly salary (provided you have worked full-time during the entire year), but a lower net.

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