(On:) Bonus is a significant part of the salary for many of the Norwegian staff. In Econa, interesseforeningen for economists, 55 percent of members in the private sector, a bonus agreement. On average they get paid a bonus in excess of nok 200,000 in the year.
Now fear Econa that many of them mistakenly do not earn a defined contribution plan on the basis of the bonus.
– Both in the innskuddspensjonsloven and foretakspensjonsloven states that the employer may decide that it is to be away from "remuneration for overtime, taxable benefits in kind and expense allowance or other fluctuating or temporary addition", says Heidi Birdsong, associate in Econa.
And here we see that the wording "varying and temporarily" creates challenges. Some employers have interpreted as a scheme where the size of the bonus varies from one year to another varies, but it is not how the law is to be understood, " she says.
Variable, not varying
– The vast majority of bonuses paid is not fluctuating and temporary, even if you don't get it the same every year.
it Says in the contract that you have the right to take part in the company's bonus, then the bonus, if achieved, be included in the pension base.
– What bonuses is there then that can be excluded?
Bonuses to be paid by a specific occasion or as a engangssum, for example a signing bonus or christmas bonus a year it has been especially good, can be excluded. In these cases, the bonus will be taxable, but not a part of the pension base.
Can be million
For many, it may make large sums of money.
Among our members, which on average have a salary of 800,000 pounds and an average bonus for those who have it on 200.000 nok, the pension contributions on the bonus could be substantial, " says Per Christian Rogdar, lawyer and leader of the Econas arbeidslivsavdeling.
– Our calculations show that an employee with the maximum rate of defined contribution plan, to 25.1 percent, which has a pension savings plan in 30 years and a return on average of 6 per cent, will lose over 4 million in pension benefit, if the bonus is not pensionable income. Vat rate is 8 percent, they will lose 1,3 million.
A comparison of innskuddspensjonsgrunnlaget at pensjonsleverandøren and annual tax statement from your employer will indicate whether your employer currently pays the pension also on the basis of the bonus.
– do you Think that employers wonder the employees?
– We suspect not that employers are trying to fool their employees. The problem is that the law is not as clear as it should be, and then it is easy for the employer to make mistakes. Most companies, after all, not large HR departments who are experts in the laws relating to this, " he says.
We therefore recommend the individual worker to be aware of whether or not the bonus is a part of the basis or not, whether you change jobs or appointments bonus for the coming year. If it doesn't work properly, it is a good idea to take it up with the employer in an orderly manner.