For example, I read that Ban Ki Moon gets $227,253. But that is only the base salary. it does not include expenses, over-time, and benefits and bonuses. Is there a website or a spreadsheet that lists how much was each UN employee paid at the year's end including everything? (preferable over the years for comparison).

For example, the state of Massachusetts reports the salaries of all full time employees each year. Does the UN have something similar that lists total compensation?

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    OK, let me put it this way - the executive management team in large and successful companies get a base salary (lets say 200k). But because of different bonuses and such their salary is bumped to millions. I seen it in their financial reports (DEF14A if traded on the market). How come the UN does not have any reports available for the public to review and compare? I wonder by how much their salary being bumped from those 227k? Apr 24, 2014 at 12:22
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    The top salary is under $300K U.S. There is nothing comparable to the huge bonuses in private sector corporations in the U.N. pbs.org/wnet/un/life/job.html Your believe otherwise is pure conspiracy theory.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 25, 2017 at 0:31
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    Why do you give PBS as a source for a UN salary? A public company usually publishes the salary/bonuses/transactions of their top officers. The way the UN is NOT publishing their year-end salaries - that is how a private company acts. This is not a conspiracy theory - it is a PURE question. A question of ethics, and a question - why as multi-billion organization - the UN is not publishing the year-end salaries of their top officers? Billions of people pay their taxes to their governments that sponsor the salaries of these people - therefore - making them public servants. Jul 26, 2017 at 20:10
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    If you had actually read the pbs.org link, there is a paragraph that is very telling of the inability to actually answer your question: If a commercial flight is not available in a specific region, a country's president or national leader will usually provide a private plane. The expenses incurred are then subtracted from the country's UN membership dues. This means that part of his compensation, at least, is not paid by anyone, but rather reduces the amount owed by the specific country already. How does one count this perk?
    – CGCampbell
    Oct 20, 2017 at 15:02
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    @CGCampbell the costs of business travel are not generally counted in an employee's compensation.
    – phoog
    Aug 19, 2021 at 1:31

1 Answer 1


No, there is no source that lists total compensation for United Nations employees

Previous answers linked to United Nations payroll data. However, that data does not include total compensation, which is what the question asks for.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office performed an audit comparing the compensation of UN employees to US employees. One of their findings is that the UN body which monitors payroll only takes into account salaries - non-wage/salary benefits are excluded entirely from their analyses.

This makes it unlikely that this data is publicly available.

Most public sources will list salary, rather than total compensation.

Many state governments have publicly accessible salary data, similar to the Massachusetts Comptroller's data in the question. However, total compensation data is rarely available to the public.

Salary (or salary and wages) reflects income. It includes hourly wages, overtime wages, leave pay, salaries, and other kinds of payment. It also employees benefits that are paid from the employee's wages or salary. For example, someone may contribute a certain percentage of their paycheck to a retirement account. This would be included in salary and wages.

It does not include taxes or benefits paid by the employer.

Total compensation is an attempt to quantify the total value of pay and benefits to an employee. It includes everything in salary and wages, as well as benefits paid by the employer. For some employers, it may include less tangible benefits as well (such as access to an office daycare center). However, much of that is left to the employer's discretion when calculating.

Let's take a closer look at that data from Massachusett's Comptroller. The original data is here. It is composed of multiple elements: base pay, overtime pay, buyout, and other pay.

The MA Comptroller's Office has a glossary that explains what all of these things are. None of them include benefits. Travel benefits are not income for the employee (but reimbursements for their expenses) and are also not included in income.

What you are describing is not likely

It's unlikely that you will find the kind of data that you want because payroll doesn't work that way. Below I'll mention some specifics that are within the question:

  • Expenses: Expense reimbursements are not generally personal income. They are a business expense. The employee is being reimbursed because they paid for legitimate business expenses. This is not going to be included in income data, and probably won't be included in total compensation data either. When an employee is able to use the employer's assets for personal use (such as by using the company car for personal travel) this is a taxable fringe benefit and is included as compensation, but no salary or wages.

  • Overtime Pay: Salaried employees don't earn overtime. Even though they may work more than 40 hours in any given week, they aren't compensated for the additional hours. They are basically paid a set yearly rate. Overtime for hourly employees would be included in both salary and wages as well as total compensation data.

  • Bonuses: Government employees do not typically earn performance bonuses. The United Nations is not, strictly speaking, a government, but I did not see any mention of performance bonuses on their compensation website.

  • Benefits: Benefits may be paid by either the employer or the employee. Employee-paid benefits are generally a part of salary and wages. Employer-paid benefits are not, but would be included in total compensation. This is a great simplification because there are a lot of nuances to the IRS rules. However, outside the world of income and payroll taxes, this is how it is generally presented in salary data.

  • UN compensation is modeled on civil service, because that's the labor market in which the UN competes for employees. Hence, your comparison to government employees is apt, and indeed there are no performance bonuses. There are benefits not common to private-sector jobs such as education grants and income allowances for dependants, as well as rental subsidies for newly relocated staff. These benefits typically account for a few thousand or tens of thousands of US dollars a year, not millions.
    – phoog
    Oct 21, 2017 at 7:47
  • Also a majority of international staff pay no income tax on their earnings, so IRS rules are not particularly relevant to the question.
    – phoog
    Oct 21, 2017 at 7:54

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