Salary Increases 2013: Workers in Bangladesh, China Win; Singapore Edges Hong Kong

Among Asia-Pacific countries, Bangladesh will have the highest projected salary budget increase in 2013, with a PSI (projected salary increase) of 12.05%. This is, however, against a backdrop of 8.5% inflation rate, meaning that the actual gain is 3.55%.


This is one of the findings of the Towers Watson Asia-Pacific Salary Budget Planning Report, which summarises salary movements among companies in Asia that participate in Towers Watson's salary surveys. The online polling was done in February and March this year.


Following Bangladesh in the PSI league table are Vietnam (12.0%), India (11.2%), Sri Lanka (9.8%) and Indonesia (9.0%). In general, the projected salary increases outpace inflation rates, as forecast by the Economist Intelligence Unit.


Looking at the data provided for Hong Kong, China, and Singapore, the report shows China will have the highest projected salary budget increase, with a PSI of 8.8% -- against a 4.3% inflation rate.


Incidentally, China is the country with the largest gap between projected salary increase and inflation, which should be good news for employees there.


Singapore was equal 12th with Hong Kong, in terms of the percentage increase in projected salary. However, Singapore’s forecast inflation rate is lower at 3.8% compared to Hong Kong at 4.4%. This means that the real salary gain is higher in Singapore than in Hong Kong.


For Singapore, the 2013 projected percentage salary increase within General Industry and Tech is 4.5%, slightly higher for Financial Services at 4.7% with Pharmaceutical topping the lot with a projected 5.5% increase.


Companies were asked to provide the status of their salary reviews for 2012 and 2013 within four classifications: Freeze, Postponed, Regular Review and Statutory.


Results with more than 20% or more responses in Freeze status were mostly in 2013 within the Pharmaceutical industry in the following countries: Australia (20%), China (33%), and India (22%).


Brunei in 2012 had 20% of responses citing their salary review was in freeze status within the General Industry.


Allocation of salary budget increase to high performers

General Industry results show that 79% in Singapore plan to provide a larger portion to high performers, 17% plan to provide uniform increases to all employees, 3% plan to provide the entire budget to high performers and 1% to exempt high performers from planned salary decreases.


Within Financial Services, the majority of responses provided that high performers would be allocated a larger portion.


Interestingly, 35% of responses within the Pharmaceutical sector in Japan are planning to provide the entire budgeted increase to high performers.


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