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.
Basic salary vs. full remuneration package
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.
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 experience||Grade||Starting basic salary|
|less than 5 years||13||EUR 3624|
|between 5 years and 17 years||14||EUR 4100|
|Reached by reclassification or promotion||15||EUR 4639|
|17 years or more||16||EUR 5248|
|Reached by reclassification or promotion||17||EUR 5938|
|Reached by reclassification or promotion||18||EUR 6719|
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 1||Situation 2||Situation 3||Situation 4|
|Single Belgian national with no children||Married Belgian national with two children||Single Italian national with no children||Married Italian national with two children|
|Contract Agent FG IV|
|Dependent child allowance||0||858||0||858|
|Expatriation allowance 16%||0||0||760||760|
|Pension contribution 10.1%||-366||-366||-366||-366|
|Sickness insurance contribution||-62||-62||-62||-62|
|Accident insurance contribution||-4||-4||-4||-4|
|Unemployment Insurance contribution||-21||-21||-21||-21|
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 group||Grade||Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5||Step 6||Step 7|
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.
|Location||EU institution||Correction Coefficient||Adjusted Basic Pay|
|Berlin, Germany||EU Delegation||101.4||3675|
|Brussels, Belgium||European Commission, European Parliament, European Council, EDA, SRB||100||3624|
|Budapest, Hungary||CEPOL, EIT||76.1||2758|
|Frankfurt am Main, Germany||ECB, EIOPA||96.9||3512|
|Hague, Netherlands||Eurojust, Europol||111.4||4037|
|Lefkosia, Cyprus||EU Delegation||82.2||2979|
|Lisbon, Portugal||EMSA, EMCDDA||91.4||3312|
|Luxembourg City, Luxembourg||European Commission, Eurostat, CDT, Court of Auditors||100||3624|
|Madrid, Spain||EU Delegation||96.3||3490|
|Paris, France||EBA, ESMA||119.9||4345|
|Rome, Italy||EU Delegation||95.2||3450|
|Sofia, Bulgaria||EU Delegation||61.7||2236|
|Valenciennes and Lille, France||ERA||119.9||4345|
|Zagreb, Croatia||EU Delegation||78.3||2838|
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.
|IV||13 to 18||Administrative, advisory, linguistic and equivalent technical tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff.|
|III||8 to 12||Executive tasks, drafting, accountancy and other equivalent technical tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff.|
|II||4 to 7||Clerical and secretarial tasks, office management and other equivalent tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff.|
|I||1 to 3||Manual and administrative support service tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff.|
Allowances and other benefits for EU institutions staff
Several allowances and other benefits can quite significantly 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 enrollment 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
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This article is based on the European Commission Staff Regulations and other publicly available information such as EU institutions’ vacancy announcements.
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