See also

Find out more about the European Patent Office.

European Patent Office

See the full list of the EPO member and extension states.

EPO member and extension states

 

Salary and benefits

“I like the whole package. The EPO provides a good salary and stable conditions. It also provides me with enough time to be with my four children, which I value very much.”

Nuki West, Examiner polymers, Munich

The EPO is an equal opportunities employer. We also provide our staff with the chance to build stable long-term careers, and offer one of the most comprehensive and family-friendly benefits packages in Europe.

EPO pay comprises a competitive basic salary which may be supplemented by various allowances depending on the employee's individual circumstances and family situation. Salaries and allowances are covered by the EPO's internal tax system and exempt from national income tax.

Relocation and accommodation

Expatriation allowance

Expatriate employees receive a monthly allowance of 16% or 20% of their basic salary. To qualify as expatriate, employees must hold the nationality of a country other than that in which they will be serving and must not have been living in the latter country for more than three years.

Installation allowance

Staff who move more than 100 km to join the EPO receive an installation allowance equal to one month's basic salary. The Office also provides practical assistance in finding accommodation.

Rent allowance

Staff may also be entitled to a rent allowance.

Reimbursement of removal costs

Subject to certain conditions, the removal expenses of new staff are reimbursed.

Family

Household allowance

Staff who are married and/or have children are eligible for this allowance, which can be up to 6% of their basic salary.

Children's allowance

Employees receive an allowance for each dependent child.

Childcare

The EPO provides a limited number of subsidised crèche places. If none of these is available, employees receive a childcare allowance to help them finance an alternative solution.

Education allowance

This allowance assists EPO staff with the cost of educating their children. In particular, the EPO reimburses - within certain limits - the fees for attending a number of international schools:

The Hague

  • International School of The Hague
  • British School in the Netherlands
  • Lycée Français
  • Deutsche Schule
  • American School

Berlin

  • Lycée Français
  • independent British, French and Swedish schools
  • state-run "Europa schools"

Munich

  • a European School was set up in 1977 to cater in particular for EPO staff, who can send their children there free of charge.
  • Lycée Français
  • Munich International School (Starnberg)

Vienna

  • Vienna International School
  • American International School
  • Danube International School
  • Lycée Français

Social security

Medical insurance

Employees and their families are insured under a collective medical insurance scheme which also covers death or invalidity. The staff contribution is approximately 3% of the basic salary.

Pension scheme and Salary Savings Plan

On termination of service, the employee receives a two-part package comprising a pension (defined benefits) and a lump sum resulting from a Salary Savings Plan.

Under the pension scheme regulations which apply since 1 January 2009, a staff member with ten or more years' reckonable service is entitled at the age of 60 to an EPO retirement pension calculated on the basis of the final capped salary. Staff who leave before completing ten years' service are paid a severance grant, which includes their pension contributions plus interest.

The Salary Savings Plan allows each employee to accumulate savings growing through long-term investment. The EPO establishes a default investment strategy which applies for the first six months after the employee's date of entry into service. After this period, the employee is given a choice in terms of investment options, which he/she may change on a yearly basis. On termination of service, the employee is entitled to payment of the balance of his/her individual salary savings account as a lump sum corresponding to the contributions paid, plus or minus investment returns. The lump-sum is as an emolument subject to internal tax.

The total employee contribution level for both, the New Pension Scheme and the Salary Savings Plan, amounts to 9.3% of the employee's basic salary. The EPO's contribution is 18.6%.

Languages

Language allowance

A language allowance is paid to staff in certain clerical and technical grades who demonstrate (in a short test) that they can speak all three EPO official languages (English, French and German).

Leave and working hours

All EPO staff get 30 days' annual leave. Expatriate staff receive a further eight days' home leave (plus travelling time and expenses for themselves and their immediate family) every two years. The normal working week is 40 hours, but the Office operates a flexitime system for all staff.


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