How much does Ursula von der Leyen make?

How much does Ursula von der Leyen make?

President of the European Commission is one of the most powerful jobs in the world. It is currently held by Ursula von der Leyen, a German politician and former Minister of Defense. She is also the first woman to have this position. Previously this position was held by Jean-Claude Juncker. But how much does the European Commission President make? And what are other perks of the job? Below is an overview of what public sources reveal.

Monthly salary

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission | (c) European Commission

Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission is entitled to a ‘basic salary’ of 138% of the top civil service grade. If a Director-General of a DG with a grade 16 step 3 is getting 20,768.57 EUR per month, then Ursula von der Leyen’s salary is approximately 28,661 EUR.

For Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this comes to a total of 335,000 EUR or 364,000 USD per year. As a comparison, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, has a nominal yearly salary of 368,000 EUR or 400,000 USD. The Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkell is reported to have an annual salary of EUR 242,000 or 262,600 USD.

For information, the salaries of European Commissioners are set at 112.5% of the top European Commission official, while the Vice-President gets 125% and the High Representative – 130%.

Representation allowance

The Commission President is entitled to a representation allowance of 1 418 EUR per month. This allowance is 911 EUR for the Vice Presidents and 608 EUR for regular Commissioners.

Monthly entertainment allowance for the President of the European Commission
Reference to “a monthly entertainment allowance” in an earlier revision of the Regulation No 422/67/EEC

Interestingly, at least until 2004 this was called the “Entertainment allowance”, but has subsequently been renamed to be more socially acceptable.

Other allowances

Like any other EU official, the European Commission President is also entitled to a number of “regular” EU allowances. Compared to the EC President’s basic salary, the allowances make up a relatively small amount of the total take-home pay. They are listed below.

  • 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

Non-remarkable office

The European Commission’s main building is the Berlaymont on Rue de la Loi 200 in Brussels, Belgium. The President’s office is on floor 13, the top floor of the Berlaymont building. The President literally sits on top of the European Commission’s hierarchy.

Ursula von der Leyen in her Berlaymont office
Ursula von der Leyen in her Berlaymont office | (c)

However, social media pictures reveal that the interior of the office of the European Commission President are surprisingly ascetic compared to offices of most national top-level government officials. Each new EC President gets to choose the artwork and furniture, and that’s about it.

When Ursula von der Leyen took office and announced that she plans to sleep in her office, the world also found out that the office has a 25 sq.m. private room called “a personal retreat” by Commission staff. It also has a shower.

Transition payments after leaving office

If they have served the full five year term, the President of the European Commission and the Commissioners are entitled to ‘transition payments’ for up to three years after leaving their posts. On average these amount to 40-65% of the previous salary. It is reduced if they take up new paid activities during the three year period.


Commissioners are entitled to an EU pension. It is calculated at 4.275% of the basic salary for every full year in office. In practice this means that Ursula von der Leyen will get a pension of 21.38% of her last basic salary or about 5964 EUR every month if she stays as European Commission President the full five years.

The full pension can be received form the age of 66. If the official chooses to receive an early retirement pension from the age of 60, 64% of the total amount would be paid.


Salary of the European Commission President is calculated according to the Regulation No 422/67/EEC, 5/67/Euratom of the Council of 25 July 1967 determining the emoluments of the President and members of the Commission and of the President, Judges, Advocates-General and Registrar of the Court of Justice. This regulation also covers the salaries of the European Commissioners, and Judges of the Court of the European Union. Source for the figures on salary of the German Chancellor: attachment IV to the Federal Law on Salaries of Officers – Bundesbesoldungsgesetz, BGBl. 2002 I p. 3020. Source for the figures on salary of the US President is the White House Website.

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5 responses to “How much does Ursula von der Leyen make?”

  1. you people have a nice paycheck, and do nothing for the people, all you want is the money, remember there are people in Europe, who don’t have a condign life, who people must think of the poor people who don’t have anything, you people should have a minor paycheck, why you people need so much money and some people don’t have anything, for example, i live in portugal , because of my age 52 no one in portugal gives me work,portugal is no god, government always styling the for people who don’t have nothing,i have a bad life in portugal, this country is no god

  2. I work and live with 300Euro per month with no help what so ever from my government and no jobs and these Mafiozi gets all this money for what??? What different they do then my government does??? This is atrocious.

  3. DISGUSTING!!!! The EU Mafia bleeds EU citizens; there are 32 000 officils employed by the EU Commission alone and 4000 more in the Parliament. Top salaries are c. 30 000 eur/month & lowest c 2000 eur/month – all tax Free! I’m so glad to be able to keep the Mafia feeling fat thank to my tax euros!

    • I got my mother working in the EU commission. She gets paid around 3.500€, which is not a lot for the prices that we have here in Belgium

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