One in three U.S. employers trim projected pay raises for 2021, Willis Towers Watson survey finds

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — One in three U.S. companies are lowering their projected salary increases for 2021 amid concern over weaker financial results and budgetary restraints in the wake of the pandemic, according to a new survey by leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, Willis Towers Watson.┬áDespite these concerns, two-thirds of employers say they expect to fund their annual short-term bonuses.

The survey of 705 U.S. employers, conducted in late September, found that 35% of respondents reduced their projected 2021 salary increase budgets from earlier projections while half (50%) kept them intact. When asked what factors led them to change their projections, two-thirds cited anticipated weaker financial results (68%) as well as cost management-related concerns, such as budget cuts (66%).

According to the survey, all employee groups other than executives are projected to receive salary increases of 2.6% in 2021. Those include management; exempt, non-management; and non-exempt salaried and hourly employees. Executives are projected to receive slightly smaller increases (2.5%) next year. An earlier survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson Data Services from …

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