Despite global economic uncertainties, job prospects in Singapore are looking up, but are your salary increment prospects looking just as promising in 2024 and beyond? Before we delve deeper into the topic, it is good to note that there is a difference between "salary increment" and "pay raise", even though both are sometimes used interchangeably.
In general, both refer to an increase in the amount of money an employee in Singapore earns, but salary increment typically refers to an increase in an employee's base average salary after annual performance reviews.
Pay raises, on the other hand, can be given for various reasons, such as increase in cost of living in Singapore, merit-based performance, promotions, increased responsibilities, or market-driven competitive salaries. They are usually more immediate and given when the employer deems appropriate.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the prospects of the average salary increment in Singapore so you can manage your finances more efficiently in the near future.
Outlook for Salary Increment in Various Sectors in Singapore
Even as global economies are navigating through a myriad of challenges in the post-COVID era, the Singapore economy is starting to pick up pace with 0.7% year-on-year as of the third quarter of 2023, up 0.2% compared to previous quarter. This may be a far cry from 2022's growth performance, but employers in Singapore are remaining optimistic about offering salary increments and pay raises on the whole.
|Q3 2022||Q4 2022||Q1 2023||Q2 2023||Q3 2023|
(% change over corresponding period of previous year)
According to a survey by Singapore Business Federation’s (SBF) on manpower and wages, 64% of the 282 businesses surveyed have planned an average salary increment of 6%. In fact, up to 88% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies surveyed have already delivered increments in the last 12 months and expect to increase salaries in the next 12 months.
However, varying performance in different industries does have an impact on salary increments amongst Singapore employees. On a more positive note, the Construction, Accommodation and Food Services are expecting higher growth than the previous quarter. Employees in these industries may expect more generous increments than those in Real Estate, Health and Education, and Information and Communications & Professional Services that are shouldering high business costs.
|Health & Education||80%|
|Information and Communications and Professional Services||72%|
|Retail, Hotels and Food and Beverages||70%|
|Construction and Civil Engineering||64%|
|Banking, Finance, Insurance and Accounting||52%|
|Logistics and Transportation||41%|
|Others (such as Arts and Culture and Social Services)||40%|
Reportedly, industries like the Finance and Insurance, and Wholesale and Retail Trade are also not delivering forecasted growth. The opportunity for wage hikes for employees in these sectors may be rather remote unless there are unexpected turnarounds in the last quarter of this year.
Tips for Negotiating for a Pay Raise and Salary Increment
If you feel that you have been working long hours and deserve more than what you are currently paid, perhaps it is time to negotiate for a pay raise or salary adjustment that is on par with your effort.
Here are some tips that may help you get remunerated more generously.
Pick the Right Time
Do not put your superior up for a negotiation at the end of a stressful work day, after a project has failed or when the company is going through a financial crisis. Even the most generous boss will not be able to justify a salary increment or pay raise under those circumstances.
A natural time for negotiation is during your annual performance review or after a launch of a successful project. Be sure to research salary trends and salary benchmarks for your role. Such information will help you present your case and demonstrate your value more succinctly.
Highlight Your Achievements and Outstanding Performances
Did you meet your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with flying colours? Did you overachieve sales quota by leaps and bounds? These are important highlights that can justify a pay raise.
It is also essential to present any additional value that you bring to the company and articulate your commitment to take on new projects that will help the organisation grow. Your dedication to your work not only puts you in a favourable light but also assures your superior that you are willing to grow with the company in the long run.
Understand The Company’s Constraints
Even if you have substantial merits to justify a wage adjustment, you must be prepared to get rejected due to no fault of yours. Some companies in Singapore do have corporate salary guidelines or constraints like temporary pay freeze, salary caps or strict budget allocations that prevent them from giving you a pay raise or salary increment.
When this happens, consider other alternatives that may improve your overall remuneration package. Performance-based bonus or profit-sharing arrangements are some common compensation methods used to reward sales roles.
Whether you are working in an industry that is thriving amidst economic uncertainties or one that is barely staying afloat, your best bet for a secured financial future lies in proactive saving and wise investments.
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