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Interest

Verified 01 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Profit sharing is a wage saving scheme linked to the performance or performance of the company. All companies may implement it by agreement with employees. In companies with less than 50 employees, the profit-sharing benefit may be introduced by unilateral decision of the employer. The employee receiving the award shall receive a premium, the amount and conditions of payment of which shall be determined by the company agreement or by the unilateral decision.

Definition

Profit-sharing is a wage savings plan that allows employees to receive a bonus commensurate with the performance of their company.

The aim of this scheme is to encourage employees to become involved in the achievement of the company's objectives.

It is established by agreement between the company and the employees or their representatives or by unilateral decision of the employer.

The agreement or unilateral decision shall lay down, in particular, the method of calculating the profit-sharing and the rules for apportioning the benefits among employees.

The document introducing the award shall be effective for the period specified therein, even if the employees' representatives are replaced.

Example :

In the event of a change in the legal situation of the company following a merger with another business.

Who is involved?

Incentive payment is not mandatory.

But if a company decides to implement it, it affects all employees.

However, employees may be required to have a seniority in the company (maximum 3 months).

Which employer can implement the profit-sharing?

Each company may decide to introduce an incentive arrangement, irrespective of its legal form, its number of employees or its field of activity.

However, the method of implementation varies according to the size of the company.

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Company of less than 50 employees

Interests may be established by a unilateral decision if the company is not covered by an approved branch agreement and does not have a trade union representative or a social and economic committee.

In this case, the employer must file, with the unilateral decision, a report of absence less than four years old which proves that it has not been referred to it by a representative body of the staff.

The employer may also introduce the incentive payment unilaterally despite the presence of the employees' representatives, in the event of a failure of the negotiations.

In this case, a record of disagreement must be drawn up to prove that the staff representatives were indeed consulted. These minutes must record the proposals made by the employer and the employees' representatives.

If a social and economic committee exists in the company, the employer must submit his draft profit-sharing to it at least 15 days before submitting it to the administrative authority.

The system of incentives introduced by a unilateral decision may have a duration of between 1 and 5 years. It has the same value as an interest established by an agreement.

Where the employer wishes to alter on its own initiative a system of incentives which it has introduced by unilateral decision, it must comply with the same rules as when the system was first introduced.

Other situation

Incentives must be established by a company agreement.

The agreement is concluded for a period of between 1 and 5 years.

How should the agreement be drawn up?

Each company is free to define its own profit-sharing agreement, provided that a collective agreement containing the mandatory clauses is concluded with the employees' representatives.

However, the company may also use a standard profit-sharing agreement or a profit-sharing agreement of its professional branch.

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Company Agreement

The incentive agreement may be concluded by:

  • Collective labor agreement or agreement
  • Agreement between the employer and representatives of representative trade unions
  • Agreement within the EESC
  • Draft agreement proposed by the employer and adopted by referendum by a 2/3 majority of employees

The company can use a template to download:

Standard Model Incentive Agreement

Branch Agreement

Any company may apply an incentive arrangement concluded at industry level, once the industry agreement has been approved.

The companies wishing to implement the approved branch agreement shall conclude a company agreement to that effect, incorporating the terms of the branch agreement.

You can find your company's branch agreement via the following online service:

Incentive agreement of the professional branch

Companies with less than 50 employees may opt for the application of the branch agreement using a unilateral employer accession document, if the branch agreement so provides. But on condition that the content of this document is consistent with the agreement of the professional branch of the company, and that this branch agreement offers only one template.

What should the Incentive Agreement contain?

The incentive agreement must include the following elements:

  • Introduction setting out the reasons for the agreement, the choice of the method of calculating the profit-sharing and the justification for the allocation criteria
  • Staff information and agreement verification system
  • Period for which the agreement is concluded (generally 3 years, with tacit renewal)
  • Establishments concerned
  • Forms of interest retained
  • Methods of calculation of the profit-sharing and allocation criteria
  • Payment Dates
  • Conditions under which the Social and Economic Committee (ESC) or a specialized committee has the necessary means of information on the conditions of application of the terms of the contract
  • Procedures for the settlement of any disputes arising from the application of the Agreement or its revision

Informing the employee

Each company must provide its employees with a payroll savings booklet that presents the payroll savings schemes set up within the business.

In addition, the incentive agreement must provide for a system for informing employees and verifying the implementation of the agreement.

Each time you receive an award payment, you receive a separate card from the pay slip. This sheet specifies in particular the amount of the rights allocated to you. In the annex, the sheet contains a note recalling the calculation and distribution rules provided for in the profit-sharing agreement. This card can be delivered to you electronically.

When you exit the company, you receive a summary report of all sums and transferable securities saved or transferred. This document shall specify whether the custody account keeping are covered by the company or by deduction from assets.

FYI  

if you are a beneficiary of the incentive agreement or could benefit from it after you leave, the company must continue to inform you of your rights.

Mandatory Deposit

After the agreement chosen by the company has been negotiated with the employees or their representatives, then completed and signed, it must be deposited on the website of the Ministry of Labor.

Collective company Agreement Filing Service

Control

Incentive agreements filed by the companies from 1er january 2023 are no longer subject to the formal control of the DDETS: titleContent, but only for the substantive control of recovery agencies.

The substantive check must be carried out by the social security collection agency on which the company which has lodged the agreement depends.

The DDETS: titleContent shall forward the incentive agreement to that body upon receipt.

Substantive monitoring is carried out to ensure that the terms of the agreement submitted comply with the law.

The recovery agency shall have a maximum period of 3 months to request the amendment of the provisions of the agreement which are contrary to the law.

The remainder of the procedure depends on whether the organization has made a change request or not.

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Request for change made

If the recovery agency requests the amendment of certain clauses within the three-month period, the company must make the amendments before it can benefit from the agreement.

No change request

If the recovery agency does not request any changes within the three-month period, the company may benefit from the social and fiscal advantages of the agreement for the current accounting year.

If the collection agency does not request any amendment to the agreement for a period of 5 months, the company may even retain the benefits for subsequent accounting periods.

Accreditation

Incentive agreements which entitle companies to join and their amendments may be approved by the Ministry of Labor.

The request for authorization must be made to the services of the Ministry of Labor by the representatives of the employees or by the company managers.

For group of companies, group of establishments and inter-enterprise agreements, the application for authorization must be made by the legal representative of the group.

A receipt is issued to the depositor.

An applicant for authorization shall lodge a copy of the agreement with the Registry of the Labor Court of the place where it was concluded.

The examination of the application for approval must be carried out within four months of the date of submission of the agreement or its amendment.

This period may be extended by two months.

The company must be informed of the extension.

Each company must provide its employees with a payroll savings booklet that presents the payroll savings schemes set up within the business.

In addition, the incentive agreement must provide for a system for informing employees and verifying the implementation of the agreement.

Each time you receive an award payment, you receive a separate card from the pay slip. This sheet specifies in particular the amount of the rights allocated to you. In the annex, the sheet contains a note recalling the calculation and distribution rules provided for in the profit-sharing agreement. This card can be delivered to you electronically.

When you leave the company, you receive a summary report of all the money and securities saved or transferred. This document shall specify whether the custody account keeping are covered by the company or by deduction from assets.

FYI  

if you are a beneficiary or may benefit from the Incentive Agreement after you leave the company, you continue to be informed of your rights.

Incentive

The interest is derived from a calculation formula linked to the company's performance or performance.

The profit-sharing agreement shall specify the calculation formula and the criteria for apportionment among employees.

The distribution may be 

  • uniform, i.e. all employees receive the same,
  • proportional to the salary or time spent by each employee,
  • or combine several of these criteria.

The amount of the premium shall be capped.

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For an employee

  • €32,994 for 2023
  • €20,568 for 2022

For a company executive and his or her collaborating partner

Executives or spouses paid in salaries

They are in the same situation as other employees of the company. The maximum amount of the premium that may be paid to them shall be:

  • €32,994 for 2023
  • €20,568for 2022
Managers or spouses paid other than in salaries

For managers and their collaborating spouses who receive non-salary remuneration, the bonus is 20% the highest annual salary in the company.

For an officer or spouse of an unpaid officer

Sometimes the assisting spouses of the managers do not receive any remuneration. In this case, the maximum amount of the premium that may be paid to them shall be €10,998.

Incentive supplement

If the profit-sharing premium calculated under the company agreement is less than the annual cap, the company may pay you an additional profit-sharing premium. The amount of this supplement is free, but the sum of this supplement and the profit-sharing premium must not exceed the annual ceiling.

How much can be paid as an incentive?

The amounts that may be paid to employees as compensation vary from one company to another. These variations are related to various quantitative and qualitative parameters. For example, turnover, operating income, delivery times, implementation of new procedures, completion of a project.

But there are 2 cumulative limits that must not be exceeded:

  • The total of the profit-sharing premiums paid to all employees receiving aid may not exceed 20 % of the total gross wages paid
  • The amount received by an employee per year as profit-sharing may not exceed €32,994

Benefits

Social contributions

All companies are exempt from social security contributions on the compensation paid to employees.

Social Package

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Company of less than 250 employees

The company of less than 250 employees is exempt from social package on the sums paid as part of the profit-sharing.

Company of 250 or more employees

A company with 250 or more employees must pay a social package of 20% of the sums paid in connection with the profit-sharing.

Tax benefits

Companies implementing the incentive benefit from the following tax advantages:

  • Deduction of taxable profit from amounts paid in connection with the profit-sharing
  • Exemption from apprenticeship taxes and participation in continuing training and construction
  • Under certain conditions, and if the sums are paid as part of a wage savings plan, the right to set up a provision for investment. This provision must not exceed 50% of the sums paid by the company to supplement the profit-sharing, where it is below the legal limit.

The advantages of the profit-sharing for the employee lie in the availability of the sums and in the tax level.

Availability of the premium

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Immediate payment

If you wish to obtain immediate payment of the premium (in whole or in part), you must request it within 15 days from the date on which you are informed of the amount allocated to you.

The sums shall be paid no later than the last day of 5e month after closing of the exercise. For example, if the fiscal year ends on December 31, 2021, the payment is made on May 31, 2022. After this period, you will be paid interest for late payment.

Investment in a savings plan

If you do not request immediate payment of the premium, it will be automatically placed on a PEE: titleContent if it exists, or on a PEG: titleContent or a PEI: titleContent.

You can also choose to place all or part of the money received on the Perco: titleContent if it exists.

The sums shall be placed no later than the last day of the 5the month after closing of the exercise. For example, as of May 31, 2022, if the fiscal year ends December 31, 2021. After this period, you will be paid interest for late payment.

The sums are then available only at the end of the blocking period of the plan concerned (5 years for the PEE: titleContent, until retirement for the Perco: titleContent) except in the case of early release applicable to the plan.

Investing in a Time Savings Account

You can choose to place all or part of the money received on a time savings account.

Tax benefits

Amounts received as part of the profit-sharing shall be subject to social contributions (CSG, CRDS).

They are subject to income tax unless you assign them to a PEE: titleContent, one PEI: titleContent or a Perco: titleContent within 15 days of their payment up to €20,568 in 2022 (€32,994 in 2023).