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Year End Bonus
Old 01-26-2015, 06:49 PM   #1
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Year End Bonus

For those of you that are still in the working world, what percentage of your salary was your year end bonus?

Now through March is the time of year when year end bonuses for the prior year are typically paid out so I thought I'd ask to see. I suppose the percentages will vary largely based on job roles. Someone working in sales who had a great year might have their bonus be >50% of their salary where as someone working in a support function's bonus might only be 5-10% of their salary.

As for me, mine was about 17.5%. I started in Q3, so the 17.5% was the pro-rated amount based on when I started.

I feel pretty happy about the amount - given that I started so late in the year, they could have not given me a bonus at all. I was told to expect 10-15%, so the amount exceeded their target.

I was also told to expect a bigger bonus in coming years vs. large salary increases each year (unless a promotion or job change occurred). I wasn't given a merit increase, but didn't really anticipate one since I started so late in the year. I was told salary increases will be in-line with inflation going forward but that I will be given bigger bonus amounts.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:12 PM   #2
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Not all people working get year end bonuses. In some cases, though, your year end bonus was you get to keep your job for one more year.

In private industry, where I came from, we were eligible for "performance bonuses" that were based on exceeding goals and targets.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:21 PM   #3
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In 27 years with megacorp, I got one $50 bonus. I stayed up all night putting together a report due to the customer the next day. Somehow, I don't think it was really worth it.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:51 PM   #4
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I worked for SW/Services companies. I was in a non-technical role. My bonus' varied by company from 5% to 20%. The 20% was better.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:17 PM   #5
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At my MegaCorp, I received 8 bonuses in 23 years. The first 3 were for specific projects or accomplishments but never exceeded $750 or 1% of my salary. Starting in 2002, they started giving out regular annual bonuses but is wasn't until 2003 that they included part-time employees, as I had begun working PT in the middle of 2001. Those bonuses were between 5% and 9%. The $4,500 one I got in 2007 was handy because I had just bought a new car and had some other big expenses, not that I was going bankrupt without the bonus. In fact, just a few days after I got the bonus, I requested to have my weekly hours worked to be reduced from 20 to 12, timing the request just after I got the bonus so they couldn't reduce it or the raise which went along with it.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:40 PM   #6
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It can vary all over the place.... and also where you work...

When I worked at mega.... they purchase another company (which was also a mega).... while talking to them I was told that everybody with the same title got the same base salary.... their year end bonus was the difference... some got a small percent... so 10X to 15X salary....

I only started to get a bonus the last 10 years or so working... I should have got more, but being staff is not a great place to get them... it was also not common in the location I was at... so moving to London for a year helped me out a lot.... my biggest bonus was just over 40%....
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:51 PM   #7
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From the time I started working at the age of 14 (after school job) to going to full-time employment at 22 to when I retired at 57 from a state agency (and having worked at 2 other places in between), I never, ever received a single bonus. I was always so envious of those who did. Not even a turkey at Thanksgiving

I would have been happy with just about any amount
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:56 PM   #8
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I got a gift card to Starbucks once. But I don't drink coffee.

Seven different employers, 3 private sector, 3 local government, one non-profit. There are LOTS of people who don't get bonuses.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:00 PM   #9
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At my Megacorp each position had a bonus percentage. So say the position had a 20% bonus, then if rated at 100%, you would get 100% of 20% of the midpoint for the midpoint of the position salary. So if on the low side of the range you would get like a 25% bonus, high side would be like 15%.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:11 PM   #10
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My megacorp touted the bonus as part of the "total compensation package". They had fancy formulas for how it was calculated. The base salary was lower than regional competitors but the bonus was supposed to bring us up to par.

The formula was based on your pay grade. For most engineers that was nominal 10% of base salary.
That percentage was then adjusted for
- personal performance
- division performance
- corporate performance.

Depending on your pay grade - the division/corporate ratio was shifted.

It didn't matter - they changed the math to lower my division's bonuses. The year my division had record profits/sales/cash flow, we got a 4.5% bonus.

We (my smaller division) were acquired a year before I retired. The new corporate overlords were still figuring out what the bonus plan (if any) would be. It was a foreign concept to them.

So glad I don't have to worry about this anymore.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMolly View Post
From the time I started working at the age of 14 (after school job) to going to full-time employment at 22 to when I retired at 57 from a state agency (and having worked at 2 other places in between), I never, ever received a single bonus. I was always so envious of those who did. Not even a turkey at Thanksgiving



I would have been happy with just about any amount

Yes, neither bonuses nor employer matches on contributions to retirement savings plans are a "given".
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:31 PM   #12
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Well, mine was disgusting sloppy kisses from a 2 year old. Not sure what that is in percentage terms.

DW, who is still a paid employee at least for the next few weeks, received a 7% bonus we just found out today. That equates to roughly 2 week long cruises for the family or maybe a month of budget travel. Her raise was "only" 3.5%. I think she has received a 7% bonus the last few years. Not a bad year for her considering she's been working 4 day weeks the last half of the year and took off a 5 week sabbatical last summer.

While working as a state employee, the only bonus I got was the ability to ride on the toll road for free.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:38 PM   #13
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For the last 19 years it averaged 10%. Prior to that nothing more than profit sharing 10% plus forfeitures. For quite a few years I'd get the informal nice job, take your wife out to dinner on the corporate card.

My most special was when the CIO called me into his office and handed me a 3k company check. Cost me 30 days living in the UK and Amsterdam, on their $. Nice to know he noticed, that doesn't happen today.

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Old 01-26-2015, 09:50 PM   #14
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I'm in Engineering/Construction my year end cash bonus was about 33%. Add in another 10% of company stock on top of that.

My company is an anomaly and I'm pretty sure no-one else pays out this well in our industry. Unfortunately our base pay is about 15% lower than the rest of the industry and we struggle attracting good talent. Nobody believes that their year end bonuses will be that high. At first I was skeptical as well.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:26 PM   #15
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In 27 years with megacorp, I got one $50 bonus. I stayed up all night putting together a report due to the customer the next day. Somehow, I don't think it was really worth it.
I got one bonus and that was in 1985 when they gave me 2 weeks pay and a pink slip.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:05 PM   #16
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My brother is an engineer and works for an oil services company. In good years, he gets a 15-25% bonus but he works long hours and is a high performer. And his salary is good but not great so the bonus compensates some. When the economy is bad, he gets no bonus and this year he will be thankful to keep his job. My other brother is an accountant and has mentioned bonuses of about 10% for high performance ratings but also years with no bonus. I'm an engineer with the federal government. Used to get 1-2% performance awards regularly and maybe 3% if rated high. In the last ten years, performance awards have been about 1/2% but 1% if rated high. But we also receive step increases in salary (also based on performance) and maybe a "COLA" so not a bad deal - I'd rather have the salary increase than a bonus.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:19 PM   #17
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The best/worst I've ever heard of is a mutal fund company, that's never mentioned on this board(seriously). One year they made so much money(your money) they gave out a 100% bonus to every employee. Didn't matter if you made the coffee or what yor job was. Not sure how it was applied to highly compensated executives. Was the 100% salary only, or their entire compensation.

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Old 01-27-2015, 12:04 AM   #18
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It really, really depends on the industry and the company. In my line of work, bonuses usually were around 4-5% of annual salary. There was some variation in that but that was what it averaged. I didn't work for a Megacorp though.

DH did work for a Megacorp. For many years the bonuses were basically between 4 to 6% of salary. They weren't guaranteed but they always did occur and were in that range.

The last several years DH was at Megacorp, though, the bonus structure entirely changed. There was a bonus that was based more on what the individual employee did. This was somewhat similar to the old bonus but was quite a bit higher. Then there was another bonus that might or might not occur based upon how the company itself did compared to its peers.

The last year that DH was there before he retired he received around 40% of his salary in the combined bonuses. That was nice.
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:43 AM   #19
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A law firm where I worked gave me an umbrella with the firm logo on it as a bonus a few years ago. I am at MegaCorp now where my target bonus is 10% but can range between 0 and 25% depending on individual and company performance. We also have profit sharing that has averaged about 5% lately and should be closer to 10% this year.


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Old 01-27-2015, 06:22 AM   #20
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The last 4 or 5 years I worked my fixed monthly salary was about 1/3 of my total yearly compensation. The other 2/3 was variable and paid out on a scale between 0 -2x depending on achievement of specific goals.

Due to local labor laws, around 16% of yearly compensation was paid at year end. This was a problem for many, but for us it made it easier to save, the YE "bonus" went straight to the bank. Same with the variable compensation.
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