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Additional notes and definitions

Appendix C

Additional Notes and Definitions


Mercer is aware of the confidential nature of the information provided and stresses that we appreciate and protect this.

Mercer’s commitment to ensuring confidentiality is exemplified clearly by the following factors:

  • to protect confidentiality, for APS-wide statistics where fewer than three agencies provide a component, no data is shown. In these circumstances, this is indicated by the symbol ‘--’, while the ‘per cent Rep’ column will indicate the percentage of the sample provided with the component
  • Mercer reserves the right not to change the names of recipients of our surveys unless authorised to do so in writing. This is to prevent confidential survey information being provided to unauthorised personnel.

For the calculation of APS-wide statistics, several criteria—including the number of records and the number of agencies—were adopted to preserve confidentiality, as shown below:

  • average – at least three records from at least three agencies
  • Q1, median, Q3 – four or more records from four or more agencies
  • maximum and minimum – more than 10 records from four or more agencies.

The above APS-wide criteria were used in the preparation of this report, as well as the non-SES Remuneration Survey Report, Broader Market Comparison Report and the Individual Agency Reports.


Remuneration Items

Base Salary

Base Salary represents full time equivalent annualised PAYG salary. It includes pre-tax employee superannuation contributions made by salary sacrifice and any additional salary sacrifice amounts for other benefits. It excludes all other cash components such as bonuses and allowances.


At a practical level, terms ‘bonus’ and ‘incentive’ are often used interchangeably. For the purposes of consistency throughout the APS Remuneration Survey, performance-based payments have been referred to as ‘bonuses’ even though in the APS they are often related to achievement of key performance indicators and hence meet the defining criteria of incentives. Performance-based bonuses in the private sector would more likely be referred to as incentives.

Total Remuneration Package

TRP is defined as Base Salary plus the value of any benefits such as superannuation and motor vehicles, plus FBT on all benefit items. It does not include any bonus payments.

Total Reward

TR is TRP plus bonus payments.

Statistical Terms


The average is the arithmetic mean, calculated by summing all values and dividing by the number of values.

First Quartile/Q1

The first quartile or 25th percentile (Q1) is the mid-point of the lower half of the sample. That is, the first quartile is the point where 25 per cent of the cases fall below and where 75 per cent of the cases fall above.


The median is the midpoint of a range of figures. It is calculated by sorting all the values into ascending order then locating the value where 50 per cent of the cases fall below and where 50 per cent of the scores fall above.

Third Quartile/Q3

The third quartile or 75th percentile (Q3) is the mid-point of the upper half of the sample. That is, the third quartile is the point where 75 per cent of the cases fall below and where 25 per cent of the cases fall above.


A percentile is calculated by dividing the distribution of a set of scores into 100 equal parts. Hence, at the 5th percentile, 5 per cent of the sample falls below this point, and 95 per cent of the sample is above. The 95th percentile is the value at which 95 per cent of the sample fall below, and 5 per cent of the sample are above.

Standard Deviation (SD)

SD is used to measure the spread of data from the average. The SD is sensitive to outliers, so where significant outliers are present this can significantly increase the SD. The greater the spread of data, the higher the SD value.


The symbol ~ means ‘approximately’.

Within +10 per cent refers to a range between 90 per cent and 110 per cent of a figure.

Car Formula – 2010/2011

Purchase Price* × 0.309 + $4,514** + ***[0.097 × (P* − $57,466)]

* GST inclusive purchase price

** GST exclusive running costs (i.e. after input tax credits)

*** Only use the second part of the formula if P (original purchase price) is greater than the depreciation limit

NB: This formula does not include FBT.

Cost of Funds 10.57% Changeover 3 years
Depreciation 22.60% Registration and Insurance $1,558**
Annual Kilometres 16,000 Corporate Tax Rate 30%
Depreciation Limit $57,466 Cost of Petrol(cents/litre) 124.42 (weighted average of 8 capital cities @ June2009)
Running costs:
Car Size Engine Size Cents/Km Total Running costs****
**** Total running costs equal the sum of the running costs plus registration and insurance costs
Light up to 1.6 litres 13.80** $3,765**
Small 1.6 – 2.0 litres 16.16** $4,143**
Medium 2.1 – 3.0 litres 18.13** $4,459**
Large 3.1 – 4.0 litres 18.47** $4,514**
Very Large Over 4.0 litres 27.87** $6,017**
FBT Calculation = Purchase Price × 2.0647 × 0.465 × Statutory Fraction
Total Kms Travelled in the FBT Year Statutory Fraction
Less than 15,000 0.26
15,000 to 24,999 0.20
25,000 to 40,000 0.11
More than 40,000 0.07
Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018