Reinout Van Der HeijdenJune 23, 202219:47

    Returning to the office after the corona period is not easy for everyone, even if the employer offers space to work from home. You might be tempted to start your own business or to stop altogether.

    It’s a good time to start your own business. Better to take the step now than to wait for years. There is a high demand for personnel in many sectors. Self-employment is still fiscally stimulated with the self-employed deduction: a tax discount of 6,310 euros for those who are active in their own employment for at least three days a week. This deduction will be reduced considerably in the coming years.

    Negotiate with the employer. Use it as a springboard. He may want to keep hiring you for some projects after you leave. Or he would like to keep you and does not mind if you start doing something else besides your current job, for example by working one day less. Or a reorganization is imminent, so that you can leave with a transition payment.

    Is the state pension age already approaching? There is an interesting scheme that employees can use just before their state pension. With the extended Early Retirement Scheme (RVU), you will receive 22,000 euros per year from the employer for three years. That is roughly equal to the minimum wage and the amount does not depend on the number of hours you currently work. You leave employment and are then no longer allowed to work for your employer. There are also employers who require you to stop working altogether.

    RVU is a statutory scheme that you can also use if the scheme is not included in the collective labor agreement. And you can always negotiate with the employer about a higher benefit. There are restrictions: you must reach the state pension age before 1 January 2029. In practice, this means that you have to be born before 1 January 1962 or even before 1 October 1961 if the state pension age is to be raised further soon. The scheme may not commence earlier than 36 months before the AOW date.

    You can supplement the RVU benefit by starting your pension earlier. In any case, it is good to consult your pension fund and to check on what the consequences are of stopping earlier.

    Freedom beckons, but practice is unruly. Start with dry swimming. First take a course for entrepreneurs. Talk to other entrepreneurs, also about annoying customers or customers who do not pay. And if you already find it difficult to negotiate with your own boss, what if you work for yourself? As an outsider you put less weight in the scale.

    Or take a sabbatical of a few months if you want to stop working. Will the energy continue to flow or will it collapse? If you stay active, you can sometimes earn some extra money. That also makes a financial difference.

    Reinout van der Heijden is editor-in-chief of the Geldgids

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