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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 employee’s full time equivalent annualised salary. It includes salary sacrifice amounts such as pre-tax employee superannuation contributions made via salary sacrifice arrangements.

Total Remuneration Package

TRP incorporates 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 plus benefits) plus bonuses. Bonuses include: individual performance, retention, sign-on, productivity, and performance by the employee’s group or their whole agency.


Allowances are payments that sit outside of TR as TR plus allowances. They cover payments for working conditions, qualifications and work-related expenses. The availability of, and eligibility for, allowances depends on specific conditions provided under an employee’s employment instrument, and particular circumstances of 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. This is particularly evident in classifications with a small population such as the APS 1, APS 2, Graduate and SES classifications. Remuneration movements in these classifications will be more heavily influenced by changes in headcount than other classifications.

Figure 2.1 shows the annual proportional change in median weighted Base Salaries 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 2019, except the APS 1 classification. Base Salary increases for non-SES classifications have been influenced by general wage increases in enterprise agreements. Base Salary increases for SES were higher than for non-SES classifications. SES increases have been influenced by a repackaging of benefits into Base Salary for some employees.

Figure 2.1 Percentage change in Base Salary by classification group

This infographic presents various statistics relating to APS remuneration.  This page has 6 separate images.  The first image is a table that provides remuneration increases between 2018 and 2019 for Base Salary, Total Remuneration Package and Total Reward across non-SES employees, SES employees and all APS employees.   For Base salary, it was 1.1% for non-SES, 3.4% for SES and 1.2% for all employees. For Total Remuneration Package, it was 1.5% for non-SES, 1.9% for SES and 1.5% for all employees. For Total Reward, it was 1.4% for non-SES, 1.7% for SES and 1.4% for all employees.  The second image is a line chart which plots percentage change in weighted median base salary from 2015 to 2019 for SES versus non-SES employees. The increase for 2019 was 3.4% for SES and 1.1% for non-SES employees.  The third image displays a line chart showing the average gender pay gap trends, from 2015 to 2019. The gender pay gap has decrease from 9.1% in 2015 to 7.3% in 2019.  The fourth image is a table provides average Base Salary for APS4, APS5, APS6 and EL1 classification level comparisons by gender. Note that APS4, APS5, APS6 and EL1 employees make up 78% of the APS workforce.  For APS4, the average Base Salary was $71,868 for female, $71,862 for male and 0.0% difference between genders.  For APS5, the average Base Salary was $78,653 for female, $78,516 for male and -0.2% difference between genders.  For APS6, the average Base Salary was $91,598 for female, $91,828 for male and 0.3% difference between genders.  For EL1, the average Base Salary was $114,325 for female, $114,991 for male and 0.6% difference between genders.  A positive percentage value indicates that females are being paid less than males in this instances. A negative percentage value indicates that females are being paid more than males in this instance.   The fifth image displays a line chart showing the Superannuation membership trends by number of employees, from 2015 to 2019. The four categories displayed are CSS, PSS, PSSAP and Other funds. In 2019, the percentages are 48.8% in the PSSAP; 36.8% in the PSS; 12.9% in Other funds; and 1.5% in the CSS.  The sixth image displays a line chart which plots headcount of employees with performance bonuses trends from 2015 to 2019.  For Graduates & APS1 to APS6, it decreased from 16,388 in 2015 to 8,361 in 2019. For EL, it decreased from 7,900 in 2015 to 4,730 in 2019.  For SES, it decreased from 178 in 2015 to 114 in 2019.

Figure 2.2 shows the movement in median remuneration components from 2018 to 2019. There were increases across all components in each classification, except the APS 1 classification which had a decrease in Base Salary. Movement in SES TRP and TR was more modest than SES Base Salary, suggesting a trend of repackaging remuneration components.

Figure 2.2 Percentage change in median remuneration components, 2018-2019

Figure 2.2 is a clustered column chart displaying percentage change in median remuneration components between 2018 and 2019 for Base Salary, Total Remuneration Package (TRP) and Total Reward (TR) across all Classifications.