News item | 29-12-2022 | 10:42

    From 1 January 2023, the statutory minimum wage will increase. It is possible that citizens with debts do not get the extra income in their wallets, because the part that they receive extra – due to the increase in the minimum wage – goes to the creditor. This can be prevented by requesting a recalculation of the garnishment-free rate. It is important that people request a new calculation for this themselves.

    Stimulate active requests for recalculation

    The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the chain of attaching parties such as municipalities, the SVB, UWV, the Tax and Customs Administration and bailiffs want to ensure that the extra income due to the increased costs ends up with citizens with debts and that more money is left over to to live. The parties are therefore jointly actively encouraging applications for recalculations through, among others, debt counsellors, administrators, social counselors and supervisory judges who are in close contact with citizens with debts. They agree to actively assist vulnerable citizens with the application. In January 2023, the details of these agreements between the parties involved will be further elaborated and ratified.

    Recalculation is not always automatic

    Citizens with debts that have to deal with a seizure of their income must have a minimum amount left over for the necessary living costs, such as their fixed costs and groceries. Attaching parties, such as bailiffs, are obliged to recalculate this ‘living amount’ (garnishment-free rate) once every twelve months. A recalculation does not happen automatically as a result of the increase in the statutory minimum wage as of 1 January 2023. The citizen must take action for this and contact the attachment creditor. If this is not done, the extra income will be used to pay off the debts. Those entitled to social assistance do not need to request a recalculation. This is done automatically for citizens on social assistance benefits.

    The recalculation applies from the date of the request. Requesting a recalculation is possible from 1 January 2023. In some situations, a recalculation can immediately have a positive effect. However, it may be more beneficial to submit the request for recalculation later. This is because the calculation takes into account the most recent months of income. It may take several months for the new income data to be processed.

    Make a request to the claimant

    A request for a possible recalculation can be made to the attaching party. That makes sense if the seizure-free foot can go up. This is not the case in all cases and is also related to other factors in the calculation. For example, there must always be at least 5% of the net income left over to pay off debts.

    The website contains a calculation tool that citizens can use to calculate whether the garnishment-free foot might be raised. They can enter the higher, new income there. If the pay slip with the higher income has been received and the result of the attachment-free rate gives a higher result in the calculation tool, it is advisable to contact the attachment creditor.

    Some of the citizens who have to deal with an attachment to their income will notice the extra increase in the minimum wage in their income as of 1 January 2023 or relatively shortly afterwards:

    • For those entitled to social assistance, the attachment-free rate has been set at 95%. As a result, the garnishment-free foot automatically ‘springs’ along and will be applied correctly from January 2023. They therefore do not have to request an interim recalculation.
    • Public attachment creditors (such as municipalities, the Tax and Customs Administration, CJIB, UWV) can proceed to a recalculation of the attachment-free rate themselves from the role of attachment creditor, or if they call in the bailiff to do so, investigate in consultation with the bailiffs how the recalculation of the attachment-free rate affects the best organized.
    • The Tax and Customs Administration has not levied any new attachments during the corona crisis. This means that it already uses the correct attachment-free rate for attachments that it imposes from 1 January. For the small number of pending attachments, the Tax and Customs Administration will accelerate the recalculation in the first months of 2023. If the outcome is positive for the citizen, the higher garnishment-free rate will be implemented. Citizens do not have to contact us for this.