Special allowances are all obligatory payments (not on a monthly basis) such as holiday allowances or end-of-year bonuses. Bonus payments related to profits or achievement of specific targets are not taken into account.
In January 2006, the life course savings scheme was introduced. Several collective wage agreements have laid down employer-paid contributions to the life course savings scheme. These contributions are treated as special allowances. Employer-paid contributions to life course savings schemes are also paid to employees who have not joined the scheme.
In addition to this, the new Dutch Health Care Act came into force in January 2006. The compulsory income-related contribution is not taken into account in collectively negotiated wages, but is included in contractual wage costs. Extra allowances to compensate for the transition to the new health care system count as special allowances.