• Level of salaries: The level of salaries for Professional staff is determined on the basis of the Noblemaire Principle which states that the international civil service should be able to recruit staff from from its Member States, including the highest-paid. Therefore, the salaries of Professional staff are set by reference to the highest-paying national civil service. The International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) makes a periodic check to identify the national civil service of the Member State which has the highest pay levels and which by its size and structure lends itself to a significant comparison. The federal civil service of the United States of America has to date been taken as the highest paid national civil service.

  • Salary scales: The salary scales for the Professional and higher categories are based on five Professional grades (P-1 to P-5), two Director levels (D-1 and D-2) as well as the levels of Assistant Secretary-General and Under Secretary-General. The scales are expressed as gross and net base salaries and applied uniformly, worldwide, by all organizations in the United Nations common system. Net base salary is obtained by deducting staff assessment from gross base salary.

    Click here for the current salary scale for staff in the Professional and higher categories (effective 1 January 2019).


    Staff assessment: Staff assessment is a form of internal tax administered by the organizations. Staff assessment rates are derived from income tax rates applicable at the eight headquarters cities of the organizations in the common system (Geneva, London, Madrid, Montreal, New York, Paris, Rome, and Vienna).

    Income taxes: Most member states have granted United Nations staff exemption from national income taxation on their United Nations emoluments. However, a few member States do tax the emoluments of their nationals. In such cases, the organizations reimburse the income tax to the staff member.


  • Level of salaries: Staff in these categories are paid on a local basis. The level of salaries is established in accordance with Flemming Principle which provides that the conditions of service for locally recruited staff should reflect the best prevailing conditions found locally for similar work. Consequently, the local salaries are established on the basis of salary surveys which facilitate the identification of the best prevailing conditions. The local salary surveys are conducted in accordance with a comprehensive methodology approved by ICSC. At headquarters duty stations, ICSC is responsible for conducting salary surveys and for recommending salary scales for final approval by the organizations concerned, mainly United Nations and WHO. At non-headquarters duty stations, salary surveys are conducted by the United Nations and certain agencies of the United Nations common system.
  • Salary scales: There is normally only one local salary scale per country. There are, however, a few cases where more than one salary scale is in effect in the same country, when UN offices are established in more than one duty station in the country. Local salary scales are expressed in local currency as gross, gross pension, total net, net pension and non-pensionable component (NPC) per grade and step. They are based on a seven-grade level structure, except some duty stations. Longevity steps may be included in the salary scales where local conditions so justify. At other locations, provision is made for one long-service step in addition to the regular steps for each grade. To qualify, staff must have been at the top of their grade for five years and have a minimum of 20 years' service.

    Click here for the current salary scales for staff in the General Service and related categories (by duty station).

    Methodology for Surveys at duty stations other than Headquarters and similar duty stations, effective 1 January 2012: English, Spanish, French

    Manual for the conduct of surveys of the best prevailing conditions of employment at duty stations other than Headquarters and similar duty stations Ė methodology II (2013)


  • Salary structure: Staff in this category, employed in peace-keeping missions and in the operation of the United Nations telecommunications systems, are internationally recruited and entitled to a range of international benefits. The salary structure is similar to that of Professional staff, with a single salary scale applicable to worldwide. Salary rates for the seven grades in this category are likewise established by comparison with similar jobs in the United States federal civil service.

    Click here for the current salary scale for staff in the Field Service category.


  • The post adjustment is one of two main elements (base salary and post adjustment) comprising the salary of staff in the Professional and higher categories;

  • The cost-of-living varies significantly between duty stations. The post adjustment is designed to compensate the differences in living costs, thereby providing the staff with the same purchasing power at all duty stations.

  • WHO IS ENTITLED? Staff members in the Professional and higher categories and in the Field Service category who are assigned to a duty station for one year or more;

    Staff in the General Service and related categories who are temporarily converted to the Field Service category while on assignment to peace keeping locations.


    • Differences in living costs are measured through periodic place-to-place surveys conducted at all duty stations. The surveys measure the cost-of-living of a duty station relative to the cost-of-living at the base of the system (New York) and the results are reflected in a post adjustment index for each duty station;

    • Duty stations with higher costs of living than New York have higher post adjustment indices;

    • Post adjustment indices for duty stations are updated monthly on the basis of prevailing local conditions;

    • These updated post adjustment indices provide the basis for establishing the post adjustment classifications which specify the number of multiplier points of post adjustment;

    • One multiplier point is equal to 1 per cent of base salary;

    • Example:

    • Post adjustment multiplier for New York (1)


      Annual net salary at P-4 Step 1 (2)


      Annual post adjustment amount for P-4 Step 1 net (3)=[(1)/100]x (2)
      Monthly post adjustment (3)/12
      US$ 4,085.83
    • The post adjustment is paid in addition to the base salary;

    • For a staff member with a dependent spouse or child, post adjustment is calculated regardless of where the dependents resides.

      To view or download the ICSC CONSOLIDATED POST ADJUSTMENT CIRCULAR containing multiplier points for all duty stations, please visit the ICSC's web site.

    • To view or download the POST ADJUSTMENT SCALE FOR NEW YORK, effective 1 February 2019, click here.

    • A staff member who is assigned to a duty station classified lower in the schedule of post adjustments than the duty station in which he or she has been serving may continue to receive up to six months the post adjustment applicable to the former duty station while the members of his or her immediate family (spouse and children) remain at that duty station;

    • When a staff member is assigned to a duty station for less than one year, the Secretary-General shall decide at that time whether to apply the post adjustment applicable to the duty station and, if appropriate, to pay an assignment grant and the hardship and non-removal elements of the mobility and hardship allowance, in lieu of the post adjustment, to authorize subsistence payments.

    • For further information on the post adjustment system, please visit the ICSC's web site.


  • The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) provides retirement, disability and survivors' benefits for the staff of organizations that are members of the Fund. A full description of these schemes can be found in the UNJSPF Regulations and Rules and at the Fundís website: The website also provides contact information, interactive guides, a benefit estimator, access to forms and booklets on specific topics relating to the Fund.

    Staff who have an appointment of six months or more or who complete six months of service without an interruption of more than 30 days become participants in the Fund. A scale of pensionable remuneration, used for determining contributions to the Fund and for calculating pension benefits, is established for Professional and Field Service staff applicable on a world-wide basis.

    Click here for the current scale of pensionable remuneration for staff in the Professional and higher categories.

    Click here for the current scale of pensionable remuneration for staff in the Field Service category.


  • Interns at the United Nations Headquarters Secretariat are not paid. All costs of travel and accommodation, including living expenses, must be covered by the intern or any relevant sponsoring institution. Please see the Internship Programme website for more information on living expense estimates for New York. Please visit the UN Internship Program website for more information.


© 2003 - 2019 United Nations Office of Human Resources - All rights reserved.