Salary of Contract Agents in Function Group FGIV (2022 update)

Salary of Contract Agents in Function Group FGIV (2022 update)

This article covers the topic of salary for Contract Agents in Function Group IV (FGIV) (‘agent contractuel’ in French) in the European Commission. The information about FGIV salary also directly applies to staff of the European Parliament, European Council, EU agencies and all other EU institutions.

Basic salary vs. full remuneration package

The monthly ‘basic salary’ for Contract Agents in function group IV (FG IV) in the European Commission ranges from EUR 3624 for grade 13 step 1 to EUR 7602 for grade 18 step 7. The amount of basic salary depends on which grade (13-18) and step in each grade (1-7) the staff member finds herself in.

When you start to work for an EU institution, you will be asked to prove your previous work experience. Depending on the length of it, you will be assigned a particular grade within function group III, which in turn will directly impact your starting basic salary. If you have up to five years of work experience, you’ll be placed in grade 13. Up to 17 years of work experience will place you in grade 14. More than 17 years of experience will place you in grade 16. For the starting basic salary in each of grades 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 see the table below.

Qualifications and professional experienceGradeStarting basic salary
less than 5 years13EUR 3624
between 5 years and 17 years14EUR 4100
Reached by reclassification or promotion15EUR 4639
17 years or more16EUR 5248
Reached by reclassification or promotion17EUR 5938
Reached by reclassification or promotion18EUR 6719
Contract agent function group IV (FGIV): basic salary according to grade and step in the European Commission salary scale

Important to note – if you start working for an EU institution with 4,9 and 16,9 years of experience, you will not be automatically ‘reclassified’ to a higher grade once you reach the 5 or 17 years threshold. Grades 15, 17 and 18 can only be reached in two ways. Firstly, by being employed at the same institution for a longer period through an exercise called ‘reclassification‘, which in practice means automatic advancement through the European Commission salary scales by one step every two years. Secondly, you can undergo ‘promotion‘ based on good professional performance. A ‘promotion’ allows you to skip several steps or even a grade at once. If you want to be promoted, be sure to not only work hard, but also make your management notice your efforts throughout the year and during the annual ‘appraisal exercise’.

Complete remuneration package

Knowing the ‘basic monthly salary’ in most cases does not tell you much about your final take-home pay. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, the basic salary can make up anything between ~85% and 130%+ of your total remuneration package depending on whether you entitled to the various allowances. This is especially so if you have children or/and are an expat.

Secondly, the country you are employed in has a significant impact on your total salary due to the ‘Correction Coefficient‘. Brussels is used as reference and you get the nominal amount quoted in the Staff Regulations and above. If you work for an EU agency in Scandinavia, your salary and allowances will upped by 18-31% to compensate for higher living costs. Conversely, if you will work for the EU in Bulgaria, you will get only 55% of what your colleague in Brussels gets.

Contract agents’ remuneration by family and residence status

Below is a sample calculation of an FG IV (grade 13, step 1) salary for four common scenarios for a Contract Agent employed in Brussels, Belgium. If you are in a higher grade, you can do a rough estimate of your salary by adding the difference between basic pay in grade 13 and your actual grade.

Situation 1Situation 2Situation 3Situation 4
Single Belgian national with no childrenMarried Belgian national with two childrenSingle Italian national with no childrenMarried Italian national with two children
Contract Agent FG IV
Basic Pay3624362436243624
Household allowance02690269
Dependent child allowance08580858
Expatriation allowance 16%00760760
Pension contribution 10.1%-366-366-366-366
Sickness insurance contribution-62-62-62-62
Accident insurance contribution-4-4-4-4
Tax-77-77-77-77
Unemployment Insurance contribution-21-21-21-21
TOTAL REMUNERATION3094421438474974
Contract agent FG IV salary and allowances: full remuneration package

N.B. Please treat the above values only as indicative, because only your EU institution can do a precise calculation based on your individual circumstances and the full set of EU rules.

On top of the above, children would either be guaranteed a place in the European School, or a single Education Allowance per child. The expat family would also get around 1000 EUR annually per family member as a Travel Grant considering the distance to Rome.

European Commission 2022 salary scale for Contract agents FGIV

Function groupGradeStep 1Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5Step 6Step 7
IV186718,946858,667001,287146,887295,527447,237602,09
IV 175938,386061,866187,926316,616447,976582,056718,94
IV165248,485357,625469,045582,775698,895817,405938,38
IV154638,734735,204833,684934,205036,825141,555248,48
IV144099,844185,104272,144360,984451,704544,234638,73
IV133623,543698,903775,813854,353934,494016,324099,84
Complete basic salary scale for contract agents FG IV. Source: Staff Regulations, Article 93

Impact of Correction Coefficient on FGII basic pay

The below table shows you the actual Contract Agent FGII basic pay according to the location of your institution. You can read a dedicated article about the Correction Coefficient.

LocationEU institutionCorrection CoefficientAdjusted Basic Pay
Amsterdam, NetherlandsEMA111.44037
Barcelona, SpainF4E96.33490
Berlin, GermanyEU Delegation101.43675
Bilbao, SpainEU-OSHA96.33490
Bratislava, SlovakiaELA79.92896
Brussels, BelgiumEuropean Commission, European Parliament, European Council, EDA, SRB1003624
Bucharest, RomaniaECITRCC68.52482
Budapest, HungaryCEPOL, EIT76.12758
Cologne, GermanyEASA96.93512
Copenhagen, DenmarkEEA134.24863
Dublin, IrelandEUROFOUND133.64842
Frankfurt am Main, GermanyECB, EIOPA96.93512
Hague, NetherlandsEurojust, Europol111.44037
Helsinki, FinlandECHA118.64298
Heraklion, GreeceENISA85.23088
Karlsruhe, GermanyJRC96.93512
Lefkosia, CyprusEU Delegation82.22979
Lisbon, PortugalEMSA, EMCDDA91.43312
Ljubljana, SloveniaACER84.93077
Luxembourg City, LuxembourgEuropean Commission, Eurostat, CDT, Court of Auditors1003624
Madrid, SpainEU Delegation96.33490
Munich, Germanyn/a113.44110
Parma, ItalyEFSA91.23305
Paris, FranceEBA, ESMA119.94345
Prague, CzechiaEGSA88.13193
Riga, LatviaBEREC802899
Rome, ItalyEU Delegation95.23450
Sofia, BulgariaEU Delegation61.72236
Stockholm, SwedenECDC130.34722
Tallinn, Estoniaeu-LISA86.33128
Thessaloniki, GreeceCEDEFOP85.23088
Turin, ItalyETF91.23305
Valletta, MaltaEUAA943407
Varese, Italyn/a91.23305
Valenciennes and Lille, FranceERA119.94345
Vienna, AustriaFRA109.63972
Vigo, SpainEFCA96.33490
Vilnius, LithuaniaEIGE80.12903
Warsaw, PolandFrontex70.62559
Zagreb, CroatiaEU Delegation78.32838
Basic Pay of European Commission Contract Agents in Function Group IV (FGIV) adjusted by the Correction Coefficient

Take into account that your allowances will also be adjusted by the Correction Coefficient. If you will work not in Brussels, but in another EU location, you should multiply the grand total values in the “scenarios table” to get the actual approximate figure.

Function Groups and corresponding types of duties

The below table presents an overview of what kind of tasks each function group of contract agents is expected to carry out. Note the wording “under the supervision of officials or temporary staff”. In practice, the situation most often is different. Very often there is little difference between the tasks FG III and FG IV carry out, it’s a little bit of a lottery in which function group your position happens to fall. Also, once you start working in these two grades, you might soon notice that the tasks you carry out differ little from what temporary agents AD5 and AD6 perform. The main reason for this situation is the aftermath of the 2008-9 economic crisis when EU Member States exerted pressure on the European Commission to decrease costs. Someone came up with the “clever” solution to administratively “devolve” many positions and tasks from AD to CA positions, without much change to the substance of the tasks performed.

Function groupGradesDuties
IV13 to 18Administrative, advisory, linguistic and equivalent technical tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff.
III8 to 12Executive tasks, drafting, accountancy and other equivalent technical tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff.
II4 to 7Clerical and secretarial tasks, office management and other equivalent tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff.
I1 to 3Manual and administrative support service tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff.
Contract Agent Function Groups and corresponding types of duties | Source: Staff Regulations

Allowances and other benefits for EU institutions staff

Several allowances and other benefits can quite significally boost an EU official’s income. This is largely depends on whether the person is an expat and has a spouse and/or children. When considering a job at an EU institution, people too often do not take these benefits into account. Important – these benefits are available to Administrators in grades AD 5-16, Assistants in grades AST 1-11, Secretaries and Clerks in grades AST/SC 1-6, and Contract Agents in grades FG I-IV.

  • Travel costs on taking up duties
  • Daily subsistence allowance (during probation period)
  • Installation allowance and coverage of removal costs (one-time payments)
  • Expatriation allowance or Foreign Residence allowance
  • Household allowance
  • Dependent child allowance
  • European School enrolment for children or Education allowance if there is no local EU school
  • Healthcare costs reimbursement to a level of 80-85% through the EU’s Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) for the employee and any direct family members and dependents. 100% reimbursement of costs in case of a serious illness
  • Accident insurance
  • Annual travel compensation
  • Birth grant
  • Parental leave
  • Unemployment allowance
  • Removal expenses when leaving your home country and again when leaving your EU institution
  • EU pension, survivors and orphan’s pensions, invalidity allowance
  • Lump sum payments in case of permanent invalidity or death
  • Lump sum funeral expenses, up to EUR 2350

Visuals for social sharing

Contract agent FG IV salary and allowances: full remuneration package
This article is based on the European Commission Staff Regulations and other publicly available information such as EU institutions’ vacancy announcements.

Do you have any questions or suggestions for this article? Please comment below and let’s make this resource better for other readers!

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36 responses to “Salary of Contract Agents in Function Group FGIV (2022 update)”

  1. Hi Ben and thanks so much for your work.
    What happens with the holidays not taken if you go from one EU institution to other?
    Do they transfer the days to the new institution or do they pay you?
    Also what happens with the daily subsistence allowance in the new job. Let us say I have been in Lux for one year and during probation I and had my DSA, Am I entitled to DSA during the probation period in the new institution?
    Thanks!

  2. I am trying to understand why the expat allowance (760EUR) for a single person is the same as for a family of four with a household and dependent child allowance (My question is inline with the post by theod from October 2021 I assume). 16% of the basic salary including both allowances result in 760EUR. As indicated in the table, both allowances do not apply to a single person. Thus, the expat allowance should be 16% of 3624 which results in 580EUR. Am I missing something?

    Kind regards,
    Benedikt

  3. Hi, do you know how does it work for contract agents in a third country (for example with EEAS or DG NEAR)? Is there a correction coefficient? I know you get a living allowance depending on the place, so does that go on top of the expat allowance or does it replace it?

  4. Hello. Thank you for all of your work in compiling this. It is useful even for people who have some knowledge.

    I have a question regarding grading and calculation of professional experience. An FG IV would be appointed either at grade 13 or grade 14 (if 5+ years of experience) . If the applicant has a Bachelor’s degree with a legal duration of 4 years and the position requires a university degree of 3 years, would that extra year of education be considered as professional experience ? 🙂

    Thanks !

  5. I have a couple of question regarding taxes. I am going to be employed as Function group IV, Grade 14, step 1. Will I pay the so called “solidarity levy”? and if so, is it calulated on the whole basic salary?
    Does anybody knows how much taxes I am going to pay (in %), and how much is the taxable portion of your salary? I mean the community tax, not other stuff such as pension & health insurance contributions
    Thanks a lot

  6. Is it possible, at the end of a 3 years contract as FGIV, being appointed again as FGIV on another project?
    What about after 6 years? Someone told me it is, someone told me that after 6 years as FGIV it is not possible anymore to work with the same EU agency.

    • Usually changing of grades is only possible if you apply to another job competition.
      However, you could be promoted to a higher grade within the same contract based on superb performance. This would not affect the duration of the contract if its a terminated/time-bound one.

      The Commission practices max. 6 year contracts for contract agents. Practice in agencies differes case by case. Also, if a CA position is linked to particular project, you might also be dismissed after the end of a project phase if no funding for its continuation has been secured.

  7. Hi and thanks Ben for your work!
    I got a question regarding moving between EU institutions.

    A CA works in a EU institution in Luxemburg and then get hired to work in another EU institution but in another country, eg in Brussels and the family of the CA stays in Luxemburg at least during the probatory period for the new job.
    What benefits is the CA allowed to? While he worked and lived with the family in Luxemburg he had house allowance, Dependent child allowance etc.

    How this may change in case the family decides to stay in a place that is not anymore the place of employment of the CA?
    Thanks!

    • Hi! This is quite a frequent question. The dependent child allowance and the expatriation allowance are independent of whether your family moves with you.
      However, if your family hasn’t relocated with you, the daily subsistence allowance might be paid for only 4 months instead of 10. You also might not qualify for the household allowance despite having a spouse and children as they haven’t relocated. It depends what evidence your institution’s HR requires as proof that the family has relocated with you. For example, if they would visit you in your new location and probably spend substantial amount of time there, you might be able to succesfully prove that they have in fact relocated.

  8. Hello Ben – Thanks for this article. Very helpful. I have one question that I can’t seem to find an answer for. Does a completed / defended PHD count towards professional experience ?

    Thanks

    • Hi! It would just be an additional nice-to-have benefit for most vacancy competitions that might impress the evaluation committee. Usually masters is enough.

      An instance where it might really count to have a PhD is if you would apply at the JRC or a research position at COM or an agency.

  9. First of all thanks for the article.
    You mention that “Grades 17 and 18 can only be reached through long-term employment at the same institution; one cannot “parachute” into these grades”.
    What would be an average time required to reach grade 17 (from 16)? And grade 18 (from 17)?
    Thanks a lot,
    Goncalo

    • Under regular circumstances you advance 1 step every two years. This means you would reach grade 18 in 10 years. It would happen more quickly if you get “reclassified” and moved over multiple steps or grades.

  10. Very useful blog, thank you! I don’t understand why the grade span is so wide for the 5-17 years of previous experience. For instance, with 11 years professional experience, what would be the starting grade? Would it be 14 anyhow but with a higher step?

    • Hi! Unfortunately, it would still be Grade 14, step 1. Theoretically, the staff conditions provide the possibility to negotiate with the employer that one is given more favorable conditions – higher step or even grade, but I have heard of only one such case and even there the concessions from the institution’s side were quite negligible. If you’re in a strong position, a better option might be to agree with your future boss that based on strong performance you are reclassified after first year/end of probation period to a higher grade.

  11. Hello,
    First of all congratulations for the quality of the articles.
    The blog is veru useful.
    Maybe you could help me :
    I am an FG IV Contract Agent and I would like to know if if we are entitled to the allowances as being in a “recognized partnership” (PACS in French) but without kids.
    Thanks a lot by advance. Have a nice day.

    • Hi! As usual in these cases, it’s best to ask HR. The EU institutions recognize heterosexual and same-sex partnerships if they are recognized under national law of an EU member state. PACS might be the right case for France, but I don’t know (your HR will know though). If it is recognized, you might be entitled to the household allowance. I have an article about this allowance: https://euemployment.eu/european-commission-household-allowance/

  12. Ηi Ben,

    If the expatriation allowance is the 0.16 Summary of (Basic Salary+Household+Dependent Child Allowance) then how it comes in scenarios 3 and 4 of your example in the Table to be the same. Thanks once again for your effort in knowledge/experience sharing

  13. Hello there!
    Where I can find the taxes percentages for the FGIV step 1 level?
    In several websites, it says that it will be between 18% – 45%, but in this example, it says that it will be 14.85€
    How did you calculate this value?

    Thanks!

    • It will definitively be at the lower end of the range for FGIVs and most AD/AST grades. When I’ll find a good overview, I’ll update the article. At the moment you’ll have to rely on my approximations and the actual calculation you’ll get for your employer.

    • Hi! There is a salary calculator, but it is only available to employees of EU institutions. Europol used to have it (in Excel format) on their website from where I hosted it here, but I was asked to remove it by European Commission HR. If you know someone who is working in the institutions, you might ask them to do a more precise calculation for you.

  14. Hi Ben,

    This may not be strictly related to salary/allowances issues, but do we know if a CA FGIV with 1 year at the Commission has the right to apply for another position in another unit within the same, or even different, DG?
    Many thanks in advance!

    • Hi! Regarding this, best to ask your HR department as I have too little experience with this.

      However, I’ll still share what I know. I’ve seen plenty of cases where people get reassigned by management to different position/tasks, if they remain within the same type of contract and grade (FG IV moves to another FG IV position, AD5 to AD5) within the same institution.
      To move between agencies requires winning a new competition, unless it is one of a small number of positions that are advertised as… I can’t remember the exact title but it was something with ‘horizontal mobility’. I don’t know if a similar arrangement applies among COM DGs. Usually this is clearly stated in the vacancy announcement.
      If you are already working for the Commission, check out the intranet. There are quite a large number of vacancies that seem to be available only internally to quickly fill staff positions. Most DGs seems to have such an intranet site, so look around.

      If possible, please share what you find out yourself regarding the question.

  15. Hello Ben!
    First of all happy new year (let’s hope it will be better) and thank you for all the good tips in your articles.

    If possible, could you please clarify under which conditions the expat allowance is given? E.g. non-belgian national, who has already work for more than 3 years in Brussels (and therefore has there the habitual residence).

    I have also another question, how experience is calculated to be relevant for grades and steps? (e.g. Master’s Degree, PhD, trainees do they count somehow?)

    Thank you very much!

  16. There is something odd with the example above: a family with 2 kids pay more taxes (76 euro) than a single (14 euro)? Usually it’s the other way around…
    Also, could you post the exact tax calculationto reach the final figure?
    Many thanks

  17. Wasnt there a exel file that you could calculate your total income? it seems to have disappeared from the internet

    • Pedro, apologies, but I received a request to take the calculator down. I complied as it was from the European Commission. I also see that Europol website where the original file was from has also taken it down. The above and similar articles give you a 90% certain insight into your final salary. However, if there are other issues that you are interested in, let me know and I’ll see if I’m able to produce an article.

  18. For someone starting in function group IV with 20 years work experience, the maximum when you start will always be Grade 16, step 1, is this correct? Or can you start at grade 17 or 18?
    thanks
    Hugo

      • and will that always be step 1? or the years of experience can place you up a few extra steps?

        • It will always be step 1. You can only start at a higher grade depending on the work experience length.

      • Should the length of professional experience taken into account only come from previous experience acquired in an EU agency? Or could it come from experience as an official in one of the Member States?

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