An unprecedented general intermediate salary update

As you surely are aware, our salaries are updated once a year: following a detailed calculation by Eurostat, we usually get a salary update with the December salary slip. The amount of the update is determined by what civil servants in the members states received as updates to their salaries. So far, so good, at least for (most) colleagues in the EU.

Colleagues in countries with high inflation (usually outside the EU) know that there is another possibility for a salary update: an intermediate update, effective as of 1 January of a year. It applies only if there is a movement in the purchasing power parity (PPP) of ±3.0% or more between June and December of any given year. This year, and for the first time ever[1], we will see a general intermediate salary update of 2.4% with effect as of 1 January 2022: This affects colleagues in Luxembourg and Belgium directly. Following this update, Eurostat has re-calculated all correction coefficients (CC): if you work in another duty station with high inflation, you might see a change in the CC. If the inflation at your place of employment is high, but lower than in Luxembourg and Belgium, this change in the CC might be negative, so please verify the value for your duty station in table 3.A in the Eurostat report (page 21) for the CCs and in table 6.A (page 31). The latter one shows you if the change specific to your place of employment increases or decreases the general update. 

The calculated update of 2.4% is the result of an inflation (measured over the six months 1 July 2021 – 1 January 2022) of 3.5% in Belgium and Luxembourg combined with a change in the real net salaries of national civil servants of -2.3%. If you wonder how these two numbers can result in a change of +2.4%, the answer is simple: as the change in the salaries is negative, only half of it is considered: -1.1% after rounding.   

The normal yearly salary update appears on your December payslip. As this is the first time that a general intermediate update happens, we cannot tell you when this will hit your bank account: we are sure that colleagues in HR and PMO are working hard on this, but please understand that this is a first time for them as well. However, we are sure that all of you would appreciate such a raise, given the general increase of prices, especially in the energy sector that we are all facing. 

If you work in a delegation outside the EU, different rules apply, but the principle of a correction coefficient stays. Eurostat has published the CCs for extra-EU duty stations as well: please check the value for your specific duty station.  

Finally, Eurostat has also checked the suspension of the 2020 specific indictor component of the salary update. It currently seems likely that the suspension of these 2.5% will be lifted as part of the full 2022 exercise later in the year. But please bear in mind that this is a forecast and depends on the evolution of the EU economy in the coming months.  

Of course, we will keep you updated on any developments as regards the salary updates. In the meantime, please get in touch with us if you have questions.

Updates

[1] Update 16/06/2022: Several colleagues have contacted us and pointed out that we have seen intermediate salary updates regularly in the 1980s. Thanks a lot for the information – for everybody who we asked, the current update was the first time ever that they have witnessed, so we appreciate the additional information.

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