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Just before the summer vacation, a consensus about the mobility budget was reached. This means that starting next year, employees can exchange their company car for money in the form of a mobility compensation. That is, of course, if the employer agrees. With this car-for-cash principle, the federal government wants to decrease the amount of company cars and that way detangle the mobility problem. But what compensation will you receive?

Company cars have been under fire for a few years already. In the last year, the federal government thought about solutions to limit the system’s use. When SD Worx was asked to formulate a bill, the whole process got a speed boost.

"Just before the summer vacation, green light was given for a mobility budget based on the car-for-cash principle."

Just before the summer vacation, green light was given for a mobility budget based on the car-for-cash principle. The agreement is worked out in detail as a mobility compensation. However, this must still be approved by the Council of State. The rough outlines are already determined, and we’d like to reveal those.

Freedom of choice is central

There is a double freedom of choice. On the one hand the employer decides whether he gives his employees the possibility to exchange their cars for cash. He can link his own rules to it, like who he allows this option to, which cars he allows to be exchanged.

On the other hand, the employees can choose whether or not to accept the proposal.

Largely the same treatment for ‘cash’ and ‘car’

The mobility compensation will be calculated in function of the car’s catalog value and the optional employee contribution for using it. Also, a fuel card is considered.

More concrete, the compensation is 20% of 6/7 of the car’s catalog value. An extra compensation of 20% is added when the employee had a fuel card. Employee contribution is deducted.

The mobility compensation has a (para)fiscal treatment inspired on the one for company cars:

  • The compensation is no wage. Employer nor employee pay contributions to the DSS. However, the employer has to pay a solidarity contribution to the DSS which equals the contribution of the exchanged company car.
  • Employees are taxed on an amount which is the result of the formula (catalog value x 6/7) x 4%. It doesn’t matter whether the employee exchanges an old, polluting car or a recent, environment-friendly model.

Employees who choose a mobility compensation should finance the costs for commuter traffic themselves, regardless of the chosen mode of transportation. The employer doesn’t have any obligation to compensate the employee.

"Employees who choose a mobility compensation should finance the costs for commuter traffic themselves, regardless of the chosen mode of transportation."

Employees who choose a mobility compensation should finance the costs for commuter traffic themselves, regardless of the chosen mode of transportation. The employer doesn’t have any obligation to compensate the employee.

A good first step

The mobility compensation makes us think about commuter traffic, but we can go further. By providing the employees with a mobility budget, they can spend it however they like: this creates flexibility. Employees can choose a smaller car and spend the rest of the budget on a small foldable bike to complete the last kilometers to work by bike. No traffic jams, no stress about a parking spot. For those who have to travel a long way, this could be the perfect alternative. Or you invest in a season ticket for public transport, an electric bike or a "Speed Pedelec".

"By providing the employees with a mobility budget, they can spend it however they like: this creates flexibility."

Make your own calculation

Will 2018 become a key year for mobility in the work relationship? That’s yet to be determined. It’s still not clear whether the system of mobility compensation will be able to push King Car from his throne. The Federal Planning Bureau calculated that those who travel a lot of kilometers to work will lose money when choosing the compensation, because the fuel card is very valuable to them.

 

"The Federal Planning Bureau calculated that those who travel a lot of kilometers to work will lose money when choosing the compensation."

Employers should brace themselves, because employees will ask a lot of questions. They will be curious as to how the car-for-cash principle will be applied in their company. That’s why SD Worx developed a handy calculation tool for employees to calculate how much they would receive when they exchange their car and how much it will cost the employer. That way, the employer can start thinking about whether he wants to allow the mobility compensation or not. Employees can also calculate which choice would be the most profitable for them.

At the SD Worx website you can calculate how much an employee would get in exchange for their comapny car.

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