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Salaries in Singapore to increase 4.5% in 2015: Survey

File picture of Singapore office workers at Raffles Place. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Salaries in the Republic’s are set for an overall increase of 4.5 per cent, same as 2014, according to the 2015 Asia Pacific Salary Budget Planning Report.

The bi-annual survey compiled by Towers Watson’s Data Services Practice also revealed that in real terms, salaries in Singapore will rise 4.4 per cent. The salary increase budget for 2016 is expected to increase 4.5 per cent, according to the survey.

“The Singapore Government has been sticking to a tight monetary policy to keep the lid on inflation. Its policy to stabilise property prices has also helped curb inflationary pressures,” said Mr Sambhav Rakyan, Data Services practice leader, Asia Pacific at Towers Watson.

SALARIES ACROSS ASIA PACIFIC SET TO RISE 7%

The survey, which looks across a range of industry sectors and job grades, also showed that Singapore is not the only country that will see an increase in salary this year. Salaries across Asia Pacific are set to raise by 7 per cent this year owing to lower inflation in 17 out of 19 Asia Pacific economies, said Towers Watson.

“In real terms, average salaries are set to rise 4.3 per cent in 2015, compared to 3.3 per cent last year,” it added. In East Asia, the highest increase will be mainland China at 7.4 per cent, while Hong Kong will see the smallest rise, at 1.3 per cent.

Despite being far behind in real terms, Hong Kong employees will still receive higher real increases than last year’s 0.1 per cent due to a modest fall in inflation.

“This is good news for employees, who are finally seeing the results of the post-financial crisis pick-up in economic growth and in receiving more cash in hand,” said Mr Rakyan.

The survey also showed that the greatest rewards and salary increases will go to top performers. Almost 80 per cent of respondents across all industries said they plan to allocate a larger portion of their budget to high performers, said Towers Watson.

"Top performers ... are seeing salary increases of approximately one and a half times that of average performers," said Mr Rakyan. For example, increases for the high-performing employees in India are 12 per cent on average – nearly twice the regional average.

“The aggressive pay increases for high performers shows how urgently companies, especially in emerging markets, are focused on recruiting and retaining top talent,” said Mr Rakyan. “Given the talent shortage is becoming more acute, companies are carefully evaluating their spending.” 

- CNA/ct