This article provides a brief introduction to Benefits specific to B Lab employees based in Amsterdam.  For a general overview of benefits at B Lab (not specific to the Netherlands), see the Benefits Overview article. 

Please keep in mind that this article is not exhaustive; the POps team is happy to answer questions and provide support to teams for any information not covered by this article. Please reach out to us with any questions by opening a new ticket

Benefits for B Lab Amsterdam

B Lab Amsterdam Pension Plan 

From the day you begin work with B Lab, you are eligible to participate in our pension scheme. This pension scheme is a third-tier scheme and an individual pension arrangement (and not a group plan or second-tier pension) - see the green box at the top of the image below.

B Lab provides you the possibility to open up a pension annuity account. This is an investment account that is earmarked as a pension (annuity). The money is invested, and the investments become accessible to you once you reach pensionable age (66 years and 4 months and increasing, as of 2021). 

Your pension account is managed by Bright Pension.

For additional explanation on the Dutch 3 pillar pension system can he found here

Setting up Your Bright Pension Plan

Getting started with your Bright Pension is easy. First, we will notify Bright Pension that you have entered our service. 

  1. Very soon thereafter you will receive (or you may have already received) an invitation from Bright Pension to open and activate your pension (annuity) account. This is entirely voluntary. Follow the instructions in the invitation to open and activate your account.
  2. Bright Pension will schedule a personal call with you to discuss your personal situation and provide you with additional information about how the plan and Dutch tax regulations work, so you can take full advantage of tax breaks. We recommend you review the Bright Pension website and activate your account before this personal call takes place.  

How the Bright Pension Plan Works

Opening the annuity account is voluntary.

If you do choose to open an account, B Lab will make an employer contribution equivalent to 3% of your taxable base wage (including your vacation allowance) every month, starting the month after you open your account. B Lab will also take care of any administrative costs and annual fees. 

If you choose not to open an account, you will not receive the 3% contribution from B Lab. Employee contributions to the annuity account are voluntary.

In addition to the annuity account, you can also choose to open up your own investment account. An investment account allows you to save money that will be invested. You can take out funds at any time. There is no tax break on this account; to take advantage of the pension account tax advantage, however, you can transfer money from the investment account to the pension account before the end of each year. 

The Dutch government provides motivation for saving for your future pension in the form of tax breaks on the amounts you invest. The Dutch Tax office has regulations regarding the maximum amount of pension that can be invested; amounts in excess of this cap will not accrue the tax benefit.

The maximum tax-benefit-allowable amount you can invest in a pension account is calculated based on your earnings from the previous tax year. E.g. the amount that you can put into your pension account in the year 2021 is based on your Dutch earnings in 2020.

Bright Pension will assist you with further information and will help you determine the maximum amount you can save annually for your pension. More information on this can be found here and here

Additional Notes for Employees Recently Established as Residents in the Netherlands 

The Dutch tax year runs from from January 1 through to December 31. For employees established in the Netherlands in 2021, the previous year's income is EUR 0 as no Dutch income was earned in the year 2020. This implies that the amount the Tax Office will allow you to save tax-free in your pension account in 2021 will also be zero.

HOWEVER, you are still allowed to start “saving” in your investment account, and although you will not be able to profit much (or at all) from the tax break in the first year, you will be able to do so in following years.

The employer contribution for recent residents can be forwarded to your investment account. Then, when the Dutch Tax Office allows you to begin benefitting from tax benefits, you can transfer the capital from your investment account to your pension account (within the allowable ranges). 

You can do this before the end of the tax year. NOTE: You must do this yourself - Bright Pension will not do this automatically! 

Additional notes on using your investment account in this way:

  • Bright Pension will temporarily convert your annuity/pension account into an investment account, to allow B Lab to make the employer contributions. 
  • Bright Pension WILL block the employer contribution portion on this investment account. As this is earmarked for pension, you will not be able to have access to this amount. However, you will have access to your own investments in the investment account. 
  • As soon as you have earned your first year of Dutch income, the Tax Office will begin allowing pension contributions (as per their regulations), and that blocked portion of the investment account will revert to an annuity account for pension purposes. 
  • Any tax advantage you have built up in the year 2022 (based on your 2021 income) will be claimable in 2023 when you file your 2022 personal income taxes. 

For more information you can also listen to this recorded explanation of the offered pension plan.

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