Is Buying Off Your Study Years Interesting?

The self-employed and employees can now also see whether it is interesting for them to ‘buy off’ their study years in order to receive a higher pension later. It is sufficient for them to surf to, register there and then do a simulation. Initially this was only possible for civil servants, now also for other professional groups.


What is it about?


Many people no longer get a full pension because they do not have the necessary 45 years of work. They often study “too long.”

Until December 1, 2020, everyone now has the opportunity to include the study years at a ‘favorable’ rate in order to reach a higher number of years. This number does not affect the date on which they can retire, but with the pension amount that they will receive. For example, it will become possible to get 42/45 th instead of 38/45 th of a full pension by buying out four academic years.


Which study periods?

Which study periods?

Five study periods can be bought:

  • the study years in higher education, although limited to the minimum duration required to obtain a diploma. So bis years, preparatory years and half years do not count. Only one study can be regularized. The diploma must also have been effectively achieved.
  • the years of preparation for a doctoral thesis, although with a maximum of 2 years.
  • the internship period that leads to a professional qualification, again limited to the minimum number of required years.
  • some periods with a learning agreement from 18 years, with a maximum of one year.
  • secondary after secondary training, for the minimum training duration.


How much is it?


Persons who had already been sent off for more than ten years at the start of the scheme on 1 December 2017 can still buy their study years until 30 November 2020 at a ‘preferential rate’.

Regularizing an academic year costs them 1,529.94 euros for each year from 1 January in which the twentieth birthday falls (against pivot index 144.42 points, in force since 1 September 2018). This amount will be increased after 1 December 2020, taking into account an interest rate and a coefficient that will be linked to the mortality tables.

Moreover, the expenses for surrendering are tax deductible as a social security contribution. To this end, they may be entered on the tax return in addition to codes 1257/2257 as non-deducted personal social security contributions.


How much does it pay?

How much does it pay?

Every year purchased, a single person pays an additional 271.98 euros in pension annually. Whoever receives a family pension – these are married couples whose partners have little or no income – catches 339.33 euros per year.

Please note: these are gross amounts. So you still have to pay taxes on it.

In addition, you may not receive the increase or not fully. This is the case, for example, if you already came to 14,040 days of work or equivalent periods without buying off the academic years or with a partial buy-off.

You build up the extra pension rights in the system (employee / self-employed person / civil servant) under which you fall at the time of application.



tuition fee

Is buying off your study years interesting or are there better alternatives? Perhaps you can opt for a form of long-term saving, whereby you provide an additional pension capital yourself. Especially for those who still give a long way off their retirement, it can be interesting to make the assessment. Also keep in mind that in the event of an early death the financial effort of a surrender is in vain. Your surviving relatives will receive a capital for long-term savings. Nothing also prevents you from combining both.