The empty-cavity electromagnetic eigenmodes of vertical- cavity surface-emitting lasers, including light-vector polarization properties, are calculated from Maxwell equations in cylindrical symmetry. The electromagnetic field in each layer is expanded into local modes of the corresponding cylindrical waveguide and the vectorial transform matrix method is used to calculate the light propagation through the structure. A simplified approach for the case of uncoupled modes is also formulated. For the cavity geometry under consideration the resonant frequencies of eigenmodes predicted within the CMA agree very well with results of exact calculations. The presented method for the empty-cavity eigenmode determination may be useful for future calculations of a steady-state laser models with semiconductor material gain parameters and carriers and temperature diffusion processes taken into account.