Financially Speaking

How much money should I bring with me?

You should count on having to pay for the following things up front once you arrive in Luxembourg:

  • Apartment : 1 month rent + 1 month rent as agency fee + apartment deposit (usually 2-3 months' rent)

  • Furnishing the apartment: Furnished apartments are available, but they are more expensive than un-furnished ones. You will need think about things like silverware, plates, pots, pans, beds, closets, bureaus, chairs, coffee makers, etc. 

  • Buying a GSM / handy / cell phone: We strongly recommend that you get a mobile phone or a Luxembourg sim card as soon as possible upon arrival. It is the easiest way for people, both inside and outside of Luxembourg, to reach you until you get settled in to your new apartment and new school. The school can lend you a mobile phone if you need one.

  • General living expenses: You should count on receiving your first pay at the end of August. Therefore, you should also count on bringing enough money to cover your food and other general living expenses for at least one month.

  • If your contract so indicates, you will receive a sum of money from the school to help defray some of your relocation and other transportation costs. You will receive this money in August as soon as you have opened up a bank account.

Given the number of large expenses which you will have in getting started in a new country and a new school, we recommend that you err on the side of caution and perhaps bring too much money with you rather than just barely enough. Also, we recommend that, depending upon where you are coming from, you bring some money in Travelers' Cheques and plan to transfer the rest of your money from abroad as soon as you have your bank account set up.

How will I be paid upon arrival?

Upon your arrival you will receive a cheque with 50% of your allowances (relocation, transportation of personal effects and travel). Please remember that these benefits are subject to tax and social contributions.

Any amount remaining after tax and social contributions will be paid with your first salary in August.

The taxes and social contributions are applicable to the full amount of your allowances and the amount withheld will be approximately 48% of the full amount.

Salaries are paid the 24th of the month, therefore you should plan accordingly for the month of August. Salary pay slips are electronic, you will receive your login details from the HR Office.

The relocation agent will assist you in opening an account at a local bank and your salary and any other payments will then be paid directly into this account.

Opening a Bank Account

Once you have found accommodation, your relocation agent will immediately arrange for you open up a bank account. You may open an account at any bank in Luxembourg. If, however, you choose BGL BNP Paribas, ING or BIL, these banks have a special expatriate package which the school has negotiated for its staff. Your relocation agent will help you in opening up a bank account as part of their services and in requesting the special expatriate conditions from the bank you would like to consider.
US citizens should be aware that there are special reporting regulations regarding them opening bank accounts in a foreign country.
In general, in order to open up a bank account, you will need to have the following documentation with you:

  • a copy of your employment contract,
  • your passport,
  • a copy of your passport photo page,
  • a copy of your apartment / house rental agreement
  • and the "Declaration d'Arrivée" from your local town hall ("commune").
  • NON EU citizens will need to bring a proof of their former address in their former country of residence (please bring for instance a recent electricity or telephone invoice) and their tax number from their former country of residence.

    Indeed, NON-EU citizens are only considered as legal residents upon the delivery of their Luxembourg residence permit, which may take 2 to 3 months. Therefore, their bank account is first opened using their former address and is changed permanently to their Luxembourgish address when they have received their residence permit.

  • When you open your account in one of the partner bank, you should be sure to request the school's negotiated package, "Expat" Package. Included in this package will be a  V-Pay / eurocard (direct debit card), a credit card and on-line banking as well as no charge for the bank guarantee (rental deposit) for your lease (this is an important point!). It will take about 3 weeks for you to get your bank cards;

  • You may pay bills through the bank by direct transfer (virement - ask the bank for the forms.), direct debit for bills such as rent and utilities or through your bank’s internet network;

  • Online banking is the least expensive way to transfer money / pay bills in Luxembourg; Your bank will give you a free Token to secure your online transactions. The Token is an electronic device that displays a different secret code whenever you login, generated automatically by pressing a button.

  • You will receive regular bank statements from your bank showing your balance and all transactions (you choose the frequency: by transaction, weekly or monthly);

  • When you have been issued with a V-Pay/ Direct debit you may pay in many shops using this card along with an assigned PIN number. This is direct debit card, not a credit card, and the debits are recorded on your bank account immediately. In addition, you will be able to use your card to pay for merchandise in other European countries.

  • You may also use your V-Pay/ Direct debit card to withdraw cash from your account at any of the ATM’s in Luxembourg and in many European countries. However, there will be a bank charge if you use the ATM from any bank other than your own.

  • A Luxembourgish address can be added to the NON EU citizens’ account to receive mail while they are waiting for their residence permit.

Credit Cards

All major credit cards are accepted and are available in Luxembourg (Mastercharge/Visa/American Express). Your bank will be more than happy to provide you with information about signing up for their credit card. You should make certain that a credit card is included in your bank package.
As of July 2004, Luxembourg banks now utilise a PIN number identification system with Visa cards. If you plan to use non-Luxembourg domiciled Visa cards, please remember to bring your PIN number with you in order to avoid any embarassing situations.

Social Benefits

Luxembourg provides generous allowances to families with dependent children and not only those living at home but also those living abroad with another parent or those who are still in full-time undergraduate programmes (provided you have registered them in person at your town or city). These allowances are paid directly to the family after the appropriate application form and supporting documents have been submitted to the Ministry of the Family. 
It can be well-worth the effort to complete the applications for these social benefits. The HR Office will help you to complete all these applications and submit the necessary paperwork in order for you to benefit from these allowances. The amount  paid monthly for the family allowance is currently 265€ per month per child.  For the latest update amounts please consult  "Caisse pour l’avenir des enfants" website
For further information about these different family benefits, you can visit the website for the "Caisse pour l’avenir des enfants" (This is all in French) and ask us if you need further help. 

Compensation Information

Salary Schedule

The school's salary scales and the regulations concerning staff placement within the salary scales are set within the Collective Bargaining Agreement (a document negotiated every 2-3 years by the Employee Delegates and the ISL Board of Governors) and are automatically adjusted for movement of the official cost-of-living index consistent with the applicable laws in Luxembourg.

Upon completion of each year of successful service, a staff member shall be moved up one step on the salary schedule, until he or she has reached the top of the schedule.  The steps on the salary schedule refer to years of full-time teaching or other professional experience. A member of the professional staff with no previous full-time experience shall be placed on step 1, a member of the professional staff with one year previous full-time experience shall be placed on step 2, and so forth, with up to 8 years credit given for previous experience.
Please refer to the correspondent section in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to see the Salary Schedule applicable in your case. As an example, members of the professional staff who possess a valid certificate from a recognized teacher-training college or similar institution shall be placed on scale I (“Cert.”). Those who possess a bachelor's degree from a recognized university or other degree-granting institution shall be placed on scale II (“BA”). Those who have earned 30 or more semester hours for graduate study beyond the bachelor's degree, but who do not possess a master's degree, shall be placed on salary scale III (“BA+30”). Those who possess a master's degree from a recognized university or other degree-granting institution shall be placed on salary scale IV (“MA”).
Additional Remuneration
Supplementary pension scheme
The school offers a defined contribution supplementary pension plan through the company, Swiss Life. The school contributes 5% gross for each staff member (applicable taxes will be deducted at the time of payment). Employee contributions are optional, though limited in amount (up to €100 per month) due to Luxembourg insurance regulations. All staff members who have completed 12 months of service at the school are eligible to be enrolled in the school’s supplementary pension plan.
Lunch Vouchers
Members of the Faculty, the nurses, teaching assistants and administrative staff who work at least 50% of a full-time position shall be entitled to receive lunch vouchers (“cheque repas”). The school will contribute €100.80 per month over ten months to the lunch voucher plan (not subject to income tax or to social security and pension fund charges) and the employee will contribute €42 per month over 12 months, which will be deducted from the net monthly salary. In return, the employee will receive 18 vouchers per month valued at €8.40 each for a total monthly value of €151.20. Lunch vouchers will be distributed over a ten or eleven month period depending on the holiday schedule, from September through June for Faculty and from September to July for Administrative Staff.

Should you choose to take on additional duties such as department head, athletic coaches, club advisors, etc., you can expect to be paid a stipend for this activity (applicable taxes and social contributions will be deducted).  Please contact your Principal or Neil Spencer, the Head of Student Life, for further details.

Obligatory Salary Deductions

Each new overseas staff member should have received, from HR, an annual salary simulation which will give them an idea of what their yearly income and tax (and end of the month) situation should look at.  If you need another copy or need additional explanations, please contact HR.

Salary deductions:

Social contributions

According to Luxembourg law, all employees must have the following social contributions deducted from their monthly gross salary:

  • national pension fund 8 %,
  • national health system 4.45%


Under Luxembourg law, income taxes are only partially deducted at source. Income tax in Luxembourg is calculated based upon tax brackets; the top tax rate is 39%.  Thus, in order to help prospective new staff better calculate their monthly “take home” salaries, the school estimates that staff members can expect to pay the following approximate percentage of their salary in terms of Luxembourg income tax:

  • Single staff member (on Teacher Salary Scale) – approximately average 22%
  • Married staff member (1 spouse working only, no children) (on Teacher Salary Scale) –  approximately average 10%
  • Married staff members (2 staff members working, no children) (on Teacher Salary Scale) – approximately average 20%

Any questions concerning specific income tax situations should be addressed directly to Ruth Smiley (, Business Manager, or Erica Bastian (

Copyright © The International School of Luxembourg a.s.b.l.
36 Boulevard Pierre Dupong, L-1430 Luxembourg
Contact: Lower School (+352) 26 04 4300  |  Upper School: (+352) 26 04 40  |  F: (+352) 26 04 47 04

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