Don't stare at the nice gross salary advertised in the job posting. What matters most is what you are left with at the end of the day. In this article, you'll read why there is a big difference between gross and net, and how to calculate that difference yourself.
Your contract or CAO states exactly how much you earn. You agreed with this with your employer when you started working. We call this your gross salary. But that amount is not what you get paid at the end of the month; that is your net pay, and it is always considerably lower than the gross amount in your contract. For example, if you earn 2,500 euros gross, you will probably have just over 2,000 euros 'clean' leftover net.
Why is your net salary lower than gross?
Over the amount mentioned in your contract, your gross salary, you pay income tax and some premiums. This applies to everyone who works and is arranged by your employer. So you don't have to do anything about it yourself, you only have to look at the amount you get paid at the end of the month on your bank account. The tax and contributions have already been paid, this money in your account is all yours.
Gross and net wages on your payslip
If you are interested in the difference between gross and net wages and want to see for yourself what you pay in tax and contributions, then take out your payslip. It is quite complicated and you can make a complete study of it, but usually, you see your gross pay at the top. Your employer will add any surcharges, such as for overtime, to this gross salary. He then also settles your salary to the net by deducting the wage tax from your gross salary. The amount of this depends on your annual salary. The rule of thumb is the higher your salary, the more income tax you pay.
Premiums deducted from your gross salary
In addition to wage tax, your employer also settles the contributions you owe with the UWV and the pension fund. You pay contributions for your pension, the Unemployment Insurance Act (WW), the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW), and the Surviving Dependants Act (ANW). Premiums sometimes differ depending on the collective labor agreement or the type of company you work for. If you are a member of a trade union, you can always ask them whether the contributions on your payslip are correct.
Why are premiums deducted from your gross salary?
You pay contributions in order to be able to claim sickness benefit, an allowance, or an incapacity benefit, should the need arise. If you become (long-term) ill, fired, or retire, your benefit or pension will be paid with the money that your employer has previously contributed. The amount of your pension premium, in particular, can vary considerably, depending on the pension fund and the sector in which you work.
Do the math yourself
In summary, your net salary is your gross salary after the deduction of taxes and contributions. Do you want to know what you earn under a different collective agreement or when you start working as a part-timer? You can calculate it yourself with the gross-net calculator. Here you quickly fill in a few (anonymous) details, including your gross monthly salary and the sector in which you work, and you will immediately see how much you will earn net.