Deferring dollars

You probably don't need a survey to tell you that salary increases are likely to be smaller than in recent years. But at least most companies are continuing with their normal policies for the timing of raises. That's according to the latest research from Culpepper and Associates, an IT compensation specialist in Alpharetta, Ga.

Last month Culpepper asked its subscribers, "Will raises be deferred in 2002, and if so, for how long?" Here are the results of 290 responses:

* 57% are to continue with normal policies for the timing of raises.

* 9% would defer most raises by between one and five months.

* 16% would defer most raises by six months.

* 2% would defer most raises by between seven and 11 months.

* 16% would defer most raises by 12 or more months.

The next question focused on when raise deferrals began or will be initiated. The results show that nearly a third of firms began holding off on pay raises at some point in 2001, and another 15% plan to do so in 2002:

* 54% said no plan to defer raises had been initiated and none is expected.

* 7% had started deferring most raises as of the first quarter 2001.

* 6% had started deferring most raises as of the second quarter 2001.

* 10 % had started deferring most raises as of the third quarter 2001.

* 8% had started deferring most raises as of the fourth quarter 2001.

* 15% said they plan to start deferring raises in 2002.

According to Culpepper's data, the average increase in IT salary ranges will only be 1.8% in 2002. However, some employees may receive more. According to the responses, the average overall budgeted IT salary increase for 2002 is 4.4%, down from 5.5% in 2001. The overall increase figure includes merit raises and promotions in addition to cost of living adjustments.

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