+44 (0)20 7799 6677

The European Commission power elite: pay and pensions

The calculation of European Commission staff’s pay is immensely complicated. The tables below outline the basic annual pay of the president, commissioners and officials working in the EU commission, showing tax, pension and ‘solidarity levy’ deductions from their annual salary; as well as a full list of untaxed allowances. 

EU salaries are recorded in euros per calendar month in the Staff Regulations so have been converted into pounds per year. In addition to their basic pay, all officials are entitled to a large number of untaxed allowances which substantially increase their total income. These allowances apply in different combinations and circumstances. The second table below provides a comprehensive and up to date list (at the time of writing) of the allowances which Commission officials are entitled to, as well as a breakdown of what a typical official earns in both a single year of office and at the end of a typical five year term. At the end of their employment, when they leave or retire, a ‘transitional allowance’ of 40-65% of their final salary is paid for a maximum of three years. During this time, family allowances are retained. From the age of 66 officials also receive generous pensions. Top level officials (President to Commissioners) receive 4.275% of their final salary for every year served. Civil servants, receive 1.8% of their final salary for each year served.

It is not possible to show all of the different variations of allowances entitlements. The tables show a typical entitlement, each official has been assumed to be married and have one dependent child under the age of 27.

Chapter 11 - Table 1

* After tax free allowance of 803 EUR and subject to a) 10% abatement for occupational and personal expenses b) Twice the amount of dependent child allowance for every dependent child of the person liable.

** 10.1% of monthly salary. Amounts to 1/3 of overall pension contribution, 2/3 tax payer funded

*** In effect until 31 December 2023. The solidarity levy was introduced during the 1970s oil crisis as a way for the commission to demonstrate sympathy with the financial struggles of EU citizens and so that the institutions would seem less detached and privileged. After the financial crisis, it was decided to increase it for the period 2014-2023 to 6%/7%. This is explained in the 2013 amendment –


Chapter 11 -Table 2


**** Assumed at 2 months basic pay pcm. Set at 2 months if official is also entitled to household allowance ie. Married. If not entitled then Installation and Resettlement are set at 1 month

Note: All allowances are detailed in REGULATION No 422/67/EEC, 5/67/EURATOM OF THE COUNCIL


[1] All figures have been converted from euros using the exchange rate in April 2016 at time of writing (1.39)

[2] Regulation (EEC, EURATOM, ECSC) No 260/68, 29 February 1968 –

[3] Grade 16, third tier. As of 1 July 2015. Annual update to Staff Regulation Article 66 (2015/C 415/04).

There are 37 officials on AD/AST grade 16 as of 1st February 2016. 158 officials on grade 15 – lowest annual salary £133,251; 550 on grade 14 –salary £117,772; 2293 on Grade 13 – salary £104,091; and 1763 on Grade 12 – salary £91,999.

Total – 4,801 officials, in exclusively administrative positions (>grade12), earning minimum £92,000 p.a salary pre-allowances.

[4] Mean average of 16 pay grades (2015/C 415/04). There are 23,022 officials on AD/AST grades 1-16 as of 1st February 2016,

Please specify which chapter you are reading and offer feedback using the form below.