This article covers the topic of salary for Contract Agents in Function Group I (FGI) (‘agent contractuel’ in French) in the European Commission. The information about FGI salary also directly applies to staff of the European Parliament, European Council, EU agencies and all other EU institutions.
The monthly ‘basic salary’ for Contract Agents in function group I (FG I) in the European Commission ranges from EUR 2128 to EUR 3081. It depends on which grade (1-3) and step in each grade (1-7) the staff member finds herself in. When being hired by EU institutions, new FGI staff usually start out in grade I step 1 or grade 2 step 1 depending on the length of work experience. Once hired, your pay increases every two years as you advance by one step through the salary scales. You salary can increase faster if you are reclassified to a higher step or even grade as a result of good performance in the annual ‘appraisal exercise’.
The highest indicated number of EUR 3081 is for FGI staff that would have spent over 40 years in EU institutions while still staying in function group I. However, you are almost certain to find a position in a different function group with higher pay in a few years once you are within the “EU system”, attain work experience and build your network.
|Grade||Step||Starting basic salary|
Complete remuneration package
Knowing the monthly ‘basic salary’ does not tell you much about your final take-home pay and the full remuneration package. There are two reasons for this.
Firstly, the basic salary can make up anything between ~85% and 130%+ or more of your total remuneration package depending on whether you are entitled to the various allowances. This is especially so if you are an expat or/and have children.
Secondly, the country you are employed in has a significant impact on your total salary due to the European Commission ‘Correction Coefficient‘. Brussels is used as reference, so if you work for EU institutions in Belgium, you get 100% of your salary and allowances. However, 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 gets due to what Eurostat considers are lower living costs. More on the impact of the Correction Coefficient below.
Contract agents’ remuneration by family and residence status
Below is a sample calculation of an FG II (grade 1, step 1) take-home pay with allowances 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 1 and your actual grade.
- SCENARIO 1: Single Belgian national with no children.
- SCENARIO 2: Married Belgian national wit
|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 |
|Basic Pay EUR||2128||2128||2128||2128|
|Dependent child allowance||0||858||0||858|
|Expatriation allowance 16%||0||0||582||582|
|Pension contribution 10.10%||-214||-214||-214||-214|
|Sickness insurance contribution||-36||-36||-36||-36|
|Accident insurance contribution||-2||-2||-2||-2|
|Unemployment Insurance contribution||-8||-8||-8||-8|
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 FGI
|FGI||Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5||Step 6||Step 7|
|Grade 3||2 723,63||2 780,16||2 837,87||2 896,76||2 956,87||3 018,24||3 080,90|
|Grade 2||2 407,81||2 457,78||2 508,79||2 560,86||2 614,01||2 668,27||2 723,63|
|Grade 1||2 128,61||2 172,80||2 217,88||2 263,91||2 310,90||2 358,86||2 407,81|
Impact of Correction Coefficient on FGI basic pay
The below table shows you the actual Contract Agent FGI basic pay according to the location of your institution. You can read a dedicated article about 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.
|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 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.
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