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Bonus plans benefits

Pay aggregates[edit]

Various combinations of the above four categories are referred to as pay aggregates. Common aggregates are explained below.

Together, guaranteed and variable pay comprise total cash compensation. The ratio of base salary to variable pay is referred to as the pay mix. For example, a person receiving a bonus equal to 25% of base salary would have an 80/20 pay mix. Organizations often set the total cash compensation for sales people at a market level, then they split the total cash compensation into the base salary component and the incentive component following a 70/30 pay mix, while other (non-sales) employees may have a 90/10 pay mix.

Total guaranteed package or fixed cost to company are aggregates that include guaranteed pay and benefits. This represents the total fixed cost of the reward package and is useful for budgeting. All forms of variable pay (annual bonus and equity compensation) are excluded from this aggregate.

Total direct pay refers to total cash compensation plus equity compensation. Benefits are excluded from this aggregate. Total direct pay includes all the elements that may be negotiated by a job candidate, especially for senior executive positions where annual and long-term incentives are more substantial.

Total compensation would include all four categories: guaranteed pay (salary and allowances), variable pay, benefits and equity compensation.

Remuneration is a term often used to refer to total cash compensation or total compensation.

As noted above, total rewards would include total compensation as well as intangible benefits such as culture, leadership, recognition, workplace flexibility, development and career opportunity.