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Chapter 2: Remuneration components

The key remuneration components covered by this report are Base Salary, Total Remuneration Package (TRP), Total Reward (TR), and allowances.

Base Salary

Base Salary is an employees full time equivalent annualised salary. It includes salary sacrifice amounts such as pre-tax employee superannuation contributions madevia salary sacrifice arrangements.

Total Remuneration Package

TRP incorporates the Base Salary plus benefits. Benefits include: employer superannuation contribution, motor vehicle cost, executive vehicle scheme, cash in lieu of motor vehicle, motor vehicle parking, personal benefits and other supplementary payments.

Total Reward

TR represents the full remuneration amount for each employee, less allowances.
TR is the sum of TRP (Base Salary + benefits) plus bonuses. Bonuses include: individual performance, retention, sign-on, productivity, and performance by the employees group or their whole agency.


Allowances are payments that sit outside of the TR as TR+allowances (TRA). They cover payments for working conditions, qualifications and work-related expenses. The availability and eligibility for allowances depend on specifi  conditions provided under an employees employment instrument, and for particular circumstances of specific positions.

Movement in remuneration components

Remuneration movements are affected by a number of factors such as general wage increases, progressions within salary increments, promotions, engagements and agency transfers. The population of each classification also affects the impact of overall percentage changes.
Figure 2.1 shows the annual proportional change in median Base Salary for non-SES and SES employees over the last five years. This measure weights the average headcount in consecutive years upon the median Base Salary.

Median Base Salaries increased across all classifications in 2018, while the overall APS headcount decreased by almost 2%, or just over 2,500 people, based on headcounts as at 31 December 2017 and 2018. SES classifications received larger percentage increases in their Base Salaries than non-SES. In addition to changes in headcount, these salary increases for non-SES have been influenced by successful enterprise agreement ballots over the past few years.

Figure 2.2 shows the movement in the median remuneration components between 2017 and 2018. There were increases across most components and classifications.
The largest relative increases were in Base Salary, with smaller changes for TRP and TR.

Last reviewed: 
16 July 2019