This article shows how much Assistants in grade AST 3 step 1 can expect to earn in the European Commission. The information directly applies also to the European Parliament, European Council, EU agencies and all other EU institutions. The article presents the full remuneration package: not only the basic salary, but also allowances and other benefits. It also shows the impact of location and the Correction Coefficient on your take-home pay.
Basic salary vs. full remuneration package
The monthly ‘basic salary’ for assistants AST3 in the European Commission and other EU institutions ranges from EUR 3914 to 4429. The starting basic salary will always be the lower number, but you can get ‘reclassified’ or get promoted.
‘Reclassification‘ is the automatic advancement through the European Commission salary scales by one step every two years (see table below to assess the financial impact on your basic salary). ‘Promotion‘ based on good professional performance in the EU context means that you not only get a good evaluation in the annual ‘appraisal’ process, but are also made to skip several salary scale steps or even a grade at once. Promotion has the most significant impact on your income, if you remain in the same job.
At the same time, knowing your ‘basic 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 in most cases constitutes between 50-100% of your total remuneration package depending on whether you entitled to the various allowances. This is especially so if you have children, a spouse 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 there the Correction Coefficient is 100% of basic salary as quoted below. 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 Brussels colleague doing the same job gets.
Assistants’ remuneration by family and residence status
Below is a sample salary and take-home pay calculation of an Assistant in grade AST5 step 1 for four common scenarios in Brussels, Belgium.
|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|
|Assistants AST 3|
|Dependent child allowance||0||858||0||858|
|Health insurance contribution (JSIS coverage)||-67||-67||-67||-67|
|Accident insurance contribution||-4||-4||-4||-4|
|TOTAL REMUNERATION |
if employed in Brussels
N.B. These calculations are only indicative as they are based on public sources. Only your institution’s HR department will be able to calculate a 100% accurate figure once you provide all necessary documents.
On top of the above, any children would either be guaranteed a place in the local European School, or an Education Allowance for each 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 Assistants AST3
|Grade||Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5|
|4||4 428,64||4 614,72||4 808,64||4 942,43||5 010,72|
|3||3 914,15||4 078,65||4 250,05||4 368,27||4 428,64|
|2||3 459,47||3 604,83||3 756,32||3 860,83||3 914,15|
Impact of Correction Coefficient on Assistants basic pay
The below table shows you the actual Assistants AST 3 basic pay according to the correction coefficient by location of your institution. You should also read a dedicated article about the Correction Coefficient to understand the details.
|Location||EU institution||Correction Coefficient||Adjusted basic salary EUR|
|Berlin, Germany||EU Delegation||101.4||3969|
|Brussels, Belgium||European Commission, European Parliament, European Council, EDA, SRB||100||3914|
|Budapest, Hungary||CEPOL, EIT||76.1||2979|
|Frankfurt am Main, Germany||ECB, EIOPA||96.9||3793|
|Hague, Netherlands||Eurojust, Europol||111.4||4360|
|Lefkosia, Cyprus||EU Delegation||82.2||3217|
|Lisbon, Portugal||EMSA, EMCDDA||91.4||3577|
|Luxembourg City, Luxembourg||European Commission, Eurostat, CDT, Court of Auditors||100||3914|
|Madrid, Spain||EU Delegation||96.3||3769|
|Paris, France||EBA, ESMA||119.9||4693|
|Rome, Italy||EU Delegation||95.2||3726|
|Sofia, Bulgaria||EU Delegation||61.7||2415|
|Valenciennes and Lille, France||ERA||119.9||4693|
|Zagreb, Croatia||EU Delegation||78.3||3065|
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.
Required work experience
For assistants grades AST1, AST2, AST3, and AST4 are considered ‘entry grades’. Each assistants’ grade requires the following work experience length:
- AST1 requires 0 years of previous professional experience.
- AST2 requires 3 years of previous professional experience.
- AST3 requires 6 years of previous professional experience.
- AST4 requires 9 years of previous professional experience.
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
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 is hard to understand, this article is one from a series that tries to make information about employment in the European Commission and other EU institutions more accessible.
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