This article covers the topic of FG IV salary or how much a Contract Agent (‘fonctionnaire’ in French) in Function Group 4 in a European Union institution can expect to earn.
Basic salary vs. full remuneration package
The ‘basic monthly salary’ for FG IV ranges from EUR 3555,98 to EUR 7460,34 (as of 01.01.2021.). It depends on which grade you are in (13-18) which is directly linked to the length of your previous work experience and employment period at the particular EU institution.
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 IV, which in turn will directly impact your starting basic salary. Important to note – if you start working for an EU agency with 4,9 and 14,9 years of experience, you will not be automatically reclassified to a higher grade once you reach the 5 or 15 years threshold. Grades 17 and 18 can only be reached through long-term employment at the same institution; one cannot “parachute” into these grades.
|Qualifications and professional experience||Grade||Starting basic salary|
|less than 5 years||13||EUR 3555,98|
|between 5 years and 17 years||14||EUR 4023,40|
|17 years or more||16||EUR 5150,62|
However, 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 50% and 100% 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.
Below is a sample calculation of an FG IV salary for four common scenarios for a contract agent employed in Brussels, Belgium. The calculation is for the initial grade 13. If you have a long work experience, you can expect to receive more, roughly EUR 400-700 for each next grade above 13.
- Single Belgian national with no children.
- Married Belgian national with two children.
- Single Italian national with no children.
- Married Italian national with two children.
|SCENARIO 1||SCENARIO 2||SCENARIO 3||SCENARIO 4|
|Dependent child allowance||0||836.62||0||836.62|
|Education allowance (applies only if your children to not attend a European School)||0||567.64||0||567.64|
|Expatriation allowance 16%||0||0||740.79||740.79|
|Pension contribution 9.70%||-342.53||-342.53||-342.53||-342.53|
|Sickness insurance contribution||-60.03||-60.03||-60.03||-60.03|
|Accident insurance contribution||-3.53||-3.53||-3.53||-3.53|
|Unemployment Insurance contribution||-20.31||-20.31||-20.31||-20.31|
Complete basic salary scale for contract agents FG IV
|Function group||Grade||Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5||Step 6||Step 7|
|IV||18||6 593,66||6 730,78||6 870,74||7 013,62||7 159,49||7 308,37||7 460,34|
|IV||17||5 827,65||5 948,83||6 072,54||6 198,83||6 327,74||6 459,32||6 593,66|
|IV||16||5 150,62||5 257,72||5 367,07||5 478,68||5 592,63||5 708,93||5 827,65|
|IV||15||4 552,24||4 646,91||4 743,55||4 842,20||4 942,90||5 045,68||5 150,62|
|IV||14||4 023,40||4 107,07||4 192,48||4 279,67||4 368,69||4 459,50||4 552,24|
|IV||13||3 555,98||3 629,93||3 705,41||3 782,48||3 861,13||3 941,43||4 023,40|
Allowances and other benefits
There are a number of additional benefits on top of your basic salary. These can boos your income by as much as 100% depending whether you are an expat and have a spouse and children. When considering a job at an EU institution, people too seldom take these benefits into account. The European Commission and other EU institutions do a poor job of communicating these benefits to possible employees. Important – these benefits are available to both temporary agents (AD 5-16 and AST 1-11) and contract agents (FG I to FG 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 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. If your institution is in Brussels, for a 4-person family from Rome this will amount to EUR 2781. For a single person the amount will be EUR 677.
- 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, around EUR 2350
Contract Agent 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.|
This article is based on the European Commission Staff Regulations and other publicly available information such as EU institutions’ vacancy announcements. As the EU legal documents and even information on the various websites are hard to understand, this post is one from a series of articles that try to make information about employment in the European Commission and other EU institutions more accessible.
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