Average Bonus 1.4 months. Do what with it?

In its annual survey of the employers and employees in Malaysia, JobStreet.com has revealed that the average bonus payout is 1.4 months.  Of course, there are companies paying higher and there are companies paying lesser. In terms of increment, there’s a little mismatch between the expected from the employee and the planned from the employer. 54% of employees are expecting an increment of between 6.1% to over 10%. However, from the employer side, 31% said they will give increment of between 6.1% to higher than 10%. So, how many of us are going to be overly sad if the bonus and increment does not meet our expectations? jobstreet increment
Personally I think it’s a little too late to think too much. Bonus was due to our performance a year before. Increment is due to expectations of our performance in 2015. Thus, the question should be, are we prepared to do slightly more or feel sad yet again next year? When we think on a bigger picture however, have we thought about what can we do with the bonus or the potential increment? Not much really, that’s the reason everyone always say that their salary is not enough. The higher the salaries we earn, the more wants and demand. The more expensive cars, handphones and even food must be in good cafes and not the usual stalls or kopi-tiams. In the end, everyone is back to square one. Don’t believe me? Look at the car sales, starbucks new stores and even the prices of certain properties in popular areas. My friend’s neighbour drives a BMW but eats bread for dinner at night!
Financial knowledge is extremely important. If possible, invest in a few good books or even pay for some courses / seminars to enhance your knowledge. The right investment would yield us many more times than the usual bonus or increment. It’s very important to work hard and climb the corporate ladder but it’s even more important that you think of what lifestyle you really need in future when you retire. Relying on just the salary alone is no longer sufficient in the materialistic world of today. In fact even if you say I do not wish to be materialistic, please be reminded that as the market continues to expand, the prices would also be increasing too. First thing? Save. Second thing? Invest in something you have knowledge about. Third thing? Repeat. Haha.
Thus, do not be overly sad about your bonus or increment. Take some portion, enjoy it and the rest, think about your future. Then, act accordingly.
written on 9 Feb 2015
Next suggested article: Nomura and RHB, their likes and downgrades.


  1. Sun Swee Ching avatar
    Sun Swee Ching

    Almost always, there is mismatch between expectations and actual bonus and increment received. Most of the time, who you know leveraged more than what you did. How do you avoid the before and after roller coaster ride emotion ? Have a lower expectation and look out for better opportunity to hop to another company – staying put and expect the proper recognition in remuneration just does not work in Malaysia.

    1. 🙂 Swee Ching, I beg to differ. Some good companies do take care of their people well. Also, these days I find that many are no longer improving, they merely continue doing what they did last year and the year before. Then again, I have to agree that sometimes, when you no longer find that your current company loves you enough or pays you way too low, it’s best to change. Better than to keep complaining and still stay at the same place. As for ‘does not work in Malaysia’, I think it’s best we read more. It happens everywhere in the world and even job hopping did not start from Malaysia. cheers!

  2. I agree with you Charles. However I always think the truth will prevail eventually. We must always work hard.

    1. Yes, working hard is a necessity irregardless of how talented we are.

  3. As a salary earner, the payout of the bonus and annual increment are never controlled by the employee but the employer.
    However, investing in our own knowledge and self-improvement is always essential to have a better financial planning or even be an entrepreneur to have control over the source of income.

    1. Agree JC. As for entrepreneur, not everyone is fit to be one. That’s the reason why majority of new businesses fail. I guess the minimum requirement would be to have more knowledge in financial planning for majority of us.

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