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Salary levels in finance forecast to grow by 6.6 p.c. in 2001 Back  
Salary levels for top management, including finance, in Ireland are predicted to increase by an average of 6.6 per cent in 2001, according to a recently published management compensation survey by Watson Wyatt. This level of average pay increase is identical to average increases paid during the year 2000.

The Watson Wyatt Top Management Compensation Survey 2001 contains detailed information on top management remuneration levels in 17 countries in Western Europe, as well as Israel and the United States. A total of 63 organisations in Ireland participated in the survey, which provides information on 21 different senior management roles, including ceos, project managers, corporate relations, head of human resources and marketing.

A total of 58 per cent of the Irish firms surveyed said that pay increases for top management were a combination of general and merit increases. 37 per cent of top managers received a merit only annual increase and the remaining 5 per cent of top management received a general increase only.

The survey points out that increases in salary levels for top management may be impacted by current high levels of inflation, which are expected to peak in the current year, before sinking back to around 4 per cent in 2002.

According to the survey the use of bonuses is widespread throughout the Irish market. Bonus levels appear buoyant, with 85 per cent of companies offering performance bonuses to general management and 82 per cent of companies offering such bonuses to top management. For general management, the range of bonus payments is from 16.2 per cent of basic salary in the lower quartile to 25 per cent at the upper quartile, with an average of 20 per cent.

Overall, the survey predicts that wages in the Irish market are projected to increase rapidly, reflecting strong demand for labour and the need to pay wages similar to those in the high-productivity exporting sectors. This means that wage increases are likely to remain high to ensure appropriate attraction and retention of key staff.

The survey also gives information regarding the amount management is usually paid in relation to its chief executive, with pay being expressed as a percentage of the ceo’s salary. For example, a typical Irish head of finance will earn approximately 60 per cent of the salary of their ceo.

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