While we are told that we live in an age of austerity, cutbacks and belt-tightening here are the numbers from Brussels, as reported on the Europa website:
Basic monthly Commission salaries range from around €2,300 per month for a newly recruited AST 1 official to around €16,000 per month for a top level AD 16 official with over 4 years of seniority.
Each grade is broken up into five seniority steps with corresponding salary increases. Basic salaries are adjusted annually in line with inflation and purchasing power in the EU countries.
The basic monthly salary is just the starting point. To know how much you will get, you then have to add the allowances you may be entitled to, minus social security contributions (pension, health and accident insurance) and other taxes (income tax and a special EU levy). You will find more details below.
If you have left your home country to come and work for the European Commission, you are entitled to an expatriation allowance equivalent to 16% of your basic salary.
Some family-related allowances are available to Commission officials according to their family situation. These include a household allowance, a dependant child allowance, an educational allowance and a pre-school allowance. These allowances can help to cover the costs of looking after a family while working for an international organisation.
EU officials normally reach retirement age at 63, but it is possible to take early retirement with a reduced pension from the age of 55, or to work up until the age of 67.
Pensions are paid as a percentage of the final basic salary. Officials accumulate 1.9% pension rights every year and are entitled to a maximum pension of 70% of their final basic salary.
Staff can apply to transfer the pension rights they already have from a previous job or as a self-employed person. Similarly, you can also transfer the pension rights you gain while working at the European Commission into another pension fund.
Whilst working, your contribution to the pension scheme will correspond to 10,25% of your basic salary.
As a European Commission official, you and your family are entitled to benefit from the Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme of the European Communities, which covers medical expenses at a reimbursement rate of 80% for most kinds of treatment (subject to maximum limits). You are also covered by accident insurance and insurance against occupational diseases.
The Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme is funded through a contribution of about 2% of the basic monthly salary from each Commission official.
You are also required to undergo a preventive medical check-up every year. For more details, see the Staff Regulations
As a European civil servant, your salary is not subject to national income tax. Instead, salaries paid by the Commission to its officials are directly subject to a Community tax which is paid directly back into the EU’s budget. This tax is levied progressively at a rate of between 8% and 45% of the taxable portion of your salary.
Leave & absences
Commission officials are entitled to annual leave of 24 working days. On top of this entitlement, you may also be granted leave for time spent traveling between your home country and the place where you work. In addition to annual leave, there are rules for special leave for marriage, moving house, death of relatives or serious illnesses, births, etc. In exceptional circumstances, you may also apply for unpaid leave on personal grounds.
Reconciling professional & personal life
A range of measures are in place to help ensure that working for the Commission is conducive to a healthy professional, personal and family life. These measures focus on parental and compassionate leave, a solid infrastructure of childcare and schooling and modern working arrangements.
Many of these measures were introduced or improved when the new Staff Regulations came into effect in May 2004. In particular, mothers are entitled to 20 weeks maternity leave and fathers 10 days paternity leave on the normal salary, while 6 months parental leave per child is available on a basic monthly allowance.
For more information see the Staff Regulations
The Commission takes a holistic approach to all aspects of well-being at work: there are also many leisure, sports and cultural clubs open to Commission staff and their families, including athletics, dance, theatre, art and language exchange.