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uva.nl
Executive Programme in Management Studies
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Together with your employer, you can add a clause to your employment agreement that allows you to exchange a portion of your gross salary for financing a study or education. The employer or you pay the study costs from the reduction of your gross salary. In addition to regular salary, you can also exchange holiday pay, the right to paid vacation days, bonuses, overtime pay, and a thirteenth month under certain conditions.

A study that costs, for example, €20,000 per year would not cost you €20,000 net per year but would cost you €10,100 per year (with a tax benefit of 49.5%), resulting in a net saving of €9,900 per year. Meanwhile, it doesn't cost your employer anything and may even lead to a financial benefit*.

The consequence of this temporary reduction of your gross salary is that you may receive a lower benefit in case of unemployment or disability during the period in which you have exchanged your gross salary. In certain cases, you may also accrue less pension during that period. Upon termination of employment, the employer may require you to repay a portion of the study costs that have not yet been offset against your monthly gross salary, resulting in the loss of your tax benefit for that portion of the study costs if your new employer does not wish to cover those costs.

*For the work-related expenses scheme, the costs that the employer reimburses for a study are exempt. This means that the provision or reimbursement remains tax-free. Due to the temporary reduction of the gross salary, the employer may be liable for lower social security and pension premiums, depending on the amount of your gross salary.

Note: even if you fall under the so-called 30% ruling, you can still use the option of exchanging your gross salary for the payment of your study.