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Deflating Compensation

October 1, 2004
If your salary-increase budget for 2005 is much higher than 3 percent, you're probably overspending. New survey data indicate that increases at large companies will average 3.5 percent next year, marking the fourth consecutive year of increases below the 4 percent average that characterized budgets before the economic downturn. What's behind the trend? Soft labor markets that will continue into 2005 and well beyond, increasing the need for annual pay increases designed for optimal hiring and retention. "There's no war for talent," says Mercer Human Resource Consulting's Steven Gross.
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Good-Bye to the Golden Age of Options

September 3, 2004
Rules from the Financial Accounting Standards Board won't take effect until 2005 or later. But many companies are already refashioning their incentive plans, curbing the amounts of their option grants, limiting who is eligible, or both.
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