Salaries up 5.1% this year, more to come in 2020, says survey

Malaysian businesses have been advised to evaluate their compensation packages to continue attracting and retaining their most critical talent.

PETALING JAYA: A new survey by a US-based professional services firm has found that salaries in Malaysia increased by an average of 5.1% this year, with expectations of a 5.3% jump in 2020.

Aon said findings from its Aon Malaysia 2019 Salary Increase and Total Compensation Survey, which involved 320 companies, showed that wages in Malaysia were increasing more rapidly than those in Singapore (3.8%) and Thailand (4.9%).

“But (this is) slower than in Indonesia at 7.4%. With annual inflation at 2.4%, Malaysians experienced an average growth of 2.7% in real wages in 2019, up from 2.1% the previous year,” it said in a statement.

It advised Malaysian businesses to evaluate their compensation packages to continue attracting and retaining their most critical talent.

According to the survey, the median pay for jobs in the engineering and tech sector were relatively higher than others.

Engineering jobs earned on average 14% more, while those working in cybersecurity and information technology earned 12% more.

“Furthermore, fresh graduates in the engineering and high-tech job roles enjoyed a 16% higher starting median salary compared to fresh graduates in other functions.

“With digital and technological advancements, employers are paying a premium for talent in these areas,” it said.

The median pay for software engineers and app developers also increased by 17% from the previous years across all levels.

Other job roles which enjoyed significantly higher wages were senior legal managers (20% above market average) and senior business development managers and strategic planners (22% above market average).

Aon said this showed the premium employers placed on professionals with specialised skill-sets.

Aon Malaysia director and head of rewards solutions Rahul Chawla said companies had been pushed to revamp their rewards programmes by the need to deliver efficiency.

“In the last 12 months, organisations have implemented incentive plans aimed at catalysing transformation and delivering shareholder value.

“Value creation for all stakeholders and value sharing among key contributors seems to be the mantra for the coming year,” he said.