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SZÉP-card is still the most popular allowance, but Erzsébet-voucher barely lags behind

April 4, 2013

c1 cafeteria has prepared the analysis of the popularity of fringe benefits this year again. According to the declarations of more than 30.000 employees, in 2013 SZÉP-card is preserving its leading position with a share over 28%, Erzsébet-voucher has caught up. Meal purposed allowances all together reach 50% again, while Pension fund is chosen by less people. The most significant tax-free allowance is the Housing support.


It’s worth recalling that in the end of year 2011, the regulation of fringe benefits significantly changed; public dues of the allowances – within the preferential limits – increased to 30.94% from 19.04% and the Vacation Coupon ceased. New benefits appeared, i.e. the SZÉP-cards and the Erzsébet-vouchers and they completely rearranged the market of the allowance-providers.

As compared to this, 2013 brought only minor changes. The most significant change is – unfortunately - the increase of tax rate of the allowances to 35.7%. Utilisation of meal purposed allowances is strengthened due to the increasing of the Erzsébet voucher’s preferential limit to HUF 8.000, and to the possibility of taking meal at other place than the canteen owned by the company. It is favourable to many people that from this year the Sport Pass can be used for purchasing cultural events’ entry tickets, too.

There was no serious change in the market participants during the last year. National Recreation Service (NÜSZ), the issuer of Erzsébet-voucher announced three new products in January – the School-starting support, the Gift Voucher and the Recreation Voucher –, but it was too late to influence the market this year. As a result, big surprises could not be expected regarding the popularity index, though we eagerly waited for the end of the yearly cafeteria declaration period. The analysis of popularity of fringe benefits was made according to the declarations of more than 30.000 employees registered in the c1 cafeteria system.

There are several cafeteria popularity statistics published every year based on different surveys to employers. The result of our analysis relying on employees actual sum-like cafeteria choices may differ significantly from those.
SZÉP-card remains on top, Erzsébet-voucher collected the “migrated money on meal”

The first place of SZÉP-card on the popularity list is not surprising. It’s remarkable that Erzsébet voucher moved forward from the 5th place to the second, right behind the SZÉP-card. It’s a surprisingly good result, considering that SZÉP-card can be claimed up to HUF 450.000, not only for meals, but for accommodation and recreation activities as well, while the traditional Erzsébet meal voucher can only be used for meals, up to HUF 96.000.

 



Health fund, Local transport pass, and Pension fund follows according to popularity index, though their importance decreased compared to the last year, especially in the case of the two funds. It can be realised, that Erzsébet voucher grew stronger, gaining space from the funds. It is not really surprising in a two-year perspective, since the preferential taxation ceased in case of the Hot meal vouchers and there were uncertainties around the new-starter Erzsébet voucher as well, so employees directed their allowances to Health funds in the last year. This redirection of allowances was temporarily only, since Erzsébet voucher successfully built up satisfactory operational conditions and gained the trust of the employees. So the migrated money came back to the meal purposed allowances, mainly to the Erzsébet voucher. With this, the significance of Health fund contribution and Local transport pass allowances fell back to the two-year old volume. It was not so in case of the Pension fund contribution, its loss is more than 40%.

Housing support allowance is on the 6th place. Its popularity quadrupled from last year, but still remained under 1.5%. It should be noted that employers rarely offers Housing allowances and a minor part of the employees use this opportunity. The 6th place is due to the fact, that employees, claimed for this allowance, allocate a considerable amount for the allowance. The Housing support allowance is the most popular tax-free allowance this year.

The Gift voucher is on 7th place overtaking the weakening Hot meal voucher, which lost its preferential taxation.

It’s worth to note that also tax-free Health insurance were predicted to gain good place, nevertheless it could not get into the most popular 15.


To look at the allowances not individually but based on their purpose, we can sum up the indexes of the individual allowances. It is conspicuous, that after the disappearance of the Hot meal voucher, significant amounts migrated temporary from the meal last year. It can also be observed, that the share of the meal-purposed allowances normalised this year, they could even increase. The high share – more, than 50% – of the meal-purposed allowances, is not surprising, since these allowance can be used by employees most effectively, and the allowances can be claimed in four different forms this year. The position of the Pension fund stepped back two places as compared to its position last year.



The allocation of the SZÉP allowances also reflects to the priority of meals, , since the majority – 63% – of transfers arrived to the meals sub-account. De facto share of the meals can be even more significant considering that the balance of the accommodation subaccount can be used for catering in the lodgement, too.






















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