In the European Parliament, staff of the political groups can be employed as “temporary agents”, jobs from which they can be dismissed with three months` notice. In reality, many “temporary agents” remain in their posts for years and even decades.
Members of the European Parliament have been paid the same amount in salary as their colleagues in the national parliaments. The different national payments disappeared July 2009. Now all members of the European Parliament are paid the same amount every month from the EU budget.
Salary. The salary is € 8.020,53 per month with a mild EU tax bringing it down to around € 6.250,37 (2014 figures). Member states are allowed to add a national taxation if the national taxation is higher than the EU tax. The salary is linked to the general salary scheme for the EU.
MEPs will always receive 38.5 % of the salary for an EU judge who always receive 12.5 % more than the highest civil servant in the EU scheme of salaries. MEPs leaving the Parliament after 3 years membership may have an “end of term” allowance where the salary continue in up to 2 years.
Daily allowance. In addition, MEPs will receive daily allowances for each day they sign in in the Parliaments` buildings in Brussels or Strasbourg. The daily allowance is € 304 per day. It is meant to cover rent and extra household but is also paid to members e.g. living in and elected in Brussels.
A MEP can sign in 10 pm in the evening and 7 am in the morning and receive 2 days’ daily allowance without having taken part in any meeting or other relevant parliamentary activity.
However, on days when plenary votes are held, if MEPs miss more than half the roll-call votes this allowance is reduced by half. For meetings outside the EU, the allowance is € 152 with hotel and breakfast bills refunded separately.
Assistants. MEPs can hire staff to assist them in their job for an amount of € 19,709 per month (2011 figures).
General allowance. To cover secretarial costs at home MEPs receive € 4,299 per month in a general allowance (2014 figures). They do not need to deliver any proof and MEPs can just use them as an extra salary. All MEPs receive the same pay whether they are taking part in meetings and are efficient or not. Some MEPs never or very seldom appear in the meetings. They can still have their full salary but their secretarial allowance can be halved.
Distance and duration allowances. Previously many members could have an extra salary through surpluses on travel allowances. From July 2009, MEPs have been paid the real costs in travel allowance, which means that everyone can travel business class also on very short distances. In addition they receive a distance allowance and a duration allowance for one travel a week.
The distance allowance starts with minimum € 22 if the MEP has his/her home up to 50 km from the meeting place. From 51 – 250km, a MEP can add € 0.12 per km. From 251 – 1000 km he/she can add € 0.06 per km. From 1000 and upwards € 0.03 per km.
The duration allowance is paid for 2-4 hours with € 37.25. For 4-6 hours € 74.5. More than 6 hours € 149 and with one night included a full extra daily allowance. If members travel by car they will be reimbursed € 0.50 per km and the cost of any ferry crossing required.
Travels at home allowances. MEPs are also paid for travels in the member state.
MEPs from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands and Slovenia can be reimbursed for up to 8,000 km per year.
MEPs from Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Ireland, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Portugal and Slovakia can be reimbursed up to 16,000 km.
MEPs from Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom can receive up to 24,000 km.
MEPs from e.g. oversea territories in France can also receive 24 flight travels to and from these territories each year.
Travel abroad allowance. In addition, MEPs can use € 4,243 per year for travels to other countries in the world, but there need to be an invitation for a meeting or seminar (2010 figures).
Insurances. MEPs will have insurances against sickness and invalidity and theft, paid by Parliament. The EP pay 2/3 of the contributions to the insurances.
If invalid, a MEP will receive the annual salary multiplied by 8.
All MEPs receive the same pay whether they are taking part in meetings and are efficient or not. Some MEPs never or very seldom appear in the meetings. They can still have their full salary but their secretarial allowance can be halved.
No parental leave. There is no parental leave in the EP for MEPs.
Pension. MEPs receive a pension paid directly from the EU. It is also calculated as a percentage of the pension for an EU judge. It can be paid when a MEP reaches the age of 63. The amount is 3.5 % of the salary for each year of membership in the EP. The pension cannot be above 70 % of the salary. This means that seniority above 20 years does not count for pension rights.
Member states are allowed to tax the EU pension until the EU Court could judge otherwise. When the new “Members Statute” wasadopted, leading MEPs were sure that the Court would outlaw national taxation of MEPs` new EU salaries. The Danish government is taxing both salaries and pensions.
Extra pension today. Previous MEPs receive their pension from the nation states taxed in the nation states. In addition, they can draw on a voluntary pension scheme set up by the European Parliament itself. MEPs paid 1/3 of the contribution while the EU budget paid 2/3 of the costs.
Secret list. The European Parliament has refused to publish the list of members of the scheme. The German magazine Stern has published the list of those who have registered as members of the scheme in Luxembourg. There is in addition a completely secret list of members also receiving the voluntary pension but not yet brought to the public.
In December 2008, there were 1,114 MEPs, former MEPs and surviving spouses and dependents on the scheme. Of those only 421 MEPs and 266 former MEPs were publicly registered in the pension fund in Luxembourg. The secret list of members is almost just as big as the list published by Stern.
There was also an invalidity scheme where no MEP could receive less than 35 % of the salary of an EU judge if the MEP has to leave on grounds of invalidity. The pension fund is running a huge deficit. The Parliament have therefore raised the pension age from 60 in the old scheme to 63. This is also the pension age in the new fully EU financed pension system.
Secret contracts. Before July 2009, MEPs could employ personal assistants on so-called “private contracts”. Every MEP could use around €17,000 per month for this purpose. The list of employed assistants were never made public. In 2008, the Parliament established an internal audit report showing fraud with the money foreseen for assistants.
A majority in the European Parliaments Conference of Presidents refused to publish the report even if all names were deleted in a special edition only delivered to members of the budget control committee for reading in a special confidential reading room.
This scandal led to another reform. Today the assistants hired in Brussels are employed on new transparent rules in real EU employment contracts and no new family members can be salaried.
MEPs can continue to cheat with assistants allowances paid at home and 25 % of the budget for assistants, which can be used for the buy of different services.
MEP´s have to show boarding cards to have travels reimbursed.