Have you thought about buying back study years for your pension?

Written by Nicolas de Limbourg 19 January 2017


There’s a lot of talk about buying back study years for your state pension. For some, it is particularly interesting. For others, it’s a loss. An increase in your gross pension can lead to an increase in your net pension, but this is not always the case. It is possible that an increase in your gross pension will result in the same or, even worse, a decreased net pension due to income taxes and social contributions!

According to the current proposal for the draft law, for each study year bought, you will receive an increase in gross annual pension of EUR 266.66 (single pension) or EUR 333.33 (family pension). Buying such a study year would cost you EUR 1,500. This only applies if done within 10 years after graduation, otherwise you will pay more. However, during the first 3 years after introduction of the new law, there will be a transition period offering anyone the possibility to buy study years at this cost, regardless of graduation year. If you are a civil servant, the cost is only EUR 1,275 during the transition period.

So what should you do? Good question! Determining whether purchasing study years is beneficial for you can be done by measuring the payback period. The payback period is the amount of time required to recover the costs incurred. Sounds complicated? By using PwC’s brand-new tool, you can calculate the payback period of purchasing 1 to 5 study years in just a few clicks! Try it here (in Dutch) or here (in French).