End of the solidarity levy?

Every once in a while, and with increasing frequency in the run-up to its stated end date, we here at Generation 2004 receive a request for clarification about the solidarity levy. This ostensibly temporary measure is 6% of the basic salary (but 7% for those in AD15(2) and above: here are the salary scales for your to check that impact).  

‘By way of derogation from Article 3(1) of Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No 260/68 and in order to take account, without prejudice to Article 65(3), of the application of the method for updating the remuneration and pensions of officials, a temporary measure regarding remuneration paid by the Union to staff in active employment, to be known as the ‘solidarity levy’, shall be applied from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2023.’ (Article 66a of the staff regulations)

Somehow, with the end of 2023 approaching, these requests appear with a higher frequency (we wonder why … 🙂) Unfortunately, we need to clarify something for all colleagues: the solidarity levy will continue to apply after 31 December 2023.

‘As long as the European Parliament and the Council have not adopted a Regulation on the basis of a Commission proposal, this Annex and Article 66a of the Staff Regulations shall continue to apply provisionally beyond the expiry dates laid down in paragraph 1 of this Article and in Article 66a of the Staff Regulations.’(Article 15 of Annex XI of the Staff Regulations)

As you can see, the solidarity levy will continue to run without any interruption. We leave it to your imagination whether the next reform of the staff regulations will terminate this levy (we suggest that you do not count on it, but maybe HR will welcome proposals on how to name the next rebranding of this levy). So far, we had ‘solidarity levy’, ‘special levy’ and ‘crisis levy’. In fact, it is still called ‘Special levy’ (code PSP) on salary slips.

For context, we have long considered that this levy should be applied more evenly, even to pensions.

‘If the special solidarity levy had been applied to staff and pensioners alike and had it taken greater account of resiliency of the persons concerned, its average value could have been set significantly lower. Not only would this have benefited the lower grades and contract staff in particular, but also and above all, it would have been in fact real solidarity, perhaps for the first time.’(Generation 2004, 28.03.2019)

As always, we welcome your feedback. 

4 thoughts on “End of the solidarity levy?

  1. The solidarity levy is not a straight 6% off the salary. The 6% shall apply to base salary of an official in the same grade and step without dependents as your own grade and step, and is 6% of that salary minus:
    – deductions of your social security and pension contributions and taxes
    – the base salary of an official in grade AST 1, step 1.

    I wonder is SC and CA colleagues of the lowest grades and steps are getting paid on account of this levy since the result of this calculation for them is a negative value… Maybe Generation 2004 could ask the question to the administration at the next opportunity.

    1. Question asked! I will keep you posted:)
      Article 66a, Staff Regulations
      3. (a) The base for the solidarity levy shall be the basic salary used to calculate remuneration, minus:
      (i) social security and pension contributions and the tax, before solidarity levy, payable by an official in the same grade and step without dependants within the meaning of Article 2 of Annex VII, and
      (ii) an amount equal to the basic salary of an official in grade AST 1, step 1. [3 271,87 @01.07.2022 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52022XC1214%2802%29&qid=1679484002331 ]

  2. Can I ask a basic question. Solidarity with what? Is the money taken from our salaries applied on specific purposes (e.g. to provide assistance to NGOs)? Or is it just a way to reduce our salary?

    1. It’s a misnomer: ‘solidarity levy’ can mean many things https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2022/732005/IPOL_BRI(2022)732005_EN.pdf but its use at the Commission does not appear to fit into any of the given categories. Article 66a, Staff Regulations
      ‘4. The solidarity levy shall be deducted monthly at source; the proceeds shall be entered as revenue in the general budget of the European Union.’

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