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3 Reasons You Should Ask for Your Total Compensation Statement

Topics: Data & Research
total compensation statement

Do you get a total compensation statement from your employer?

If not, you might want to ask. Depending on your company’s level of pay transparency, these total compensation statements can tell you everything from the value of your health and retirement benefits to where you are in the salary range for your position.

That is, if you can get a total compensation statement. One big surprise in this year’s Compensation Best Practices Report: fewer companies plan to offer total comp statements this year than last year. For example, 51 percent of enterprise-level companies offered these reports in 2017, while only 42 percent plan to do so in 2018.

Why the change? There a few possible reasons. Companies may be providing more insight into comp on an ongoing basis, perhaps via self-service systems, or they may be reluctant to assume the administrative burden of developing statements.

It’s also worth noting that only about 10 percent of surveyed organizations reported being very confident in their managers’ ability to communicate the rationale behind pay decisions.

Good communication can actually mitigate the effects of low pay. Even when employees are paid low relative to the market, 82 percent report being satisfied with their work … if their managers are able to clearly communicate the reasons why. It’s no wonder that employers who have less faith in their managers to communicate pay decisions might be reluctant to offer total compensation statements.

That said, there are good reasons to ask for one anyway:

1. You Might Find Out That You’re Better Paid Than You Think

Salary is just one part of the compensation picture. Benefits like health insurance, retirement, paid time off, disability and life insurance also boost your financial picture. But if you’re young and healthy — or just lucky — you might not ever have any reason to think about these other factors.

Total compensation statements show you what you’re really earning.

2. You Could Learn Where You Are in the Salary Range for Your Position

Some organizations offer total compensation statements that include salary ranges for each position — or offer that information during comp discussions with management. If your company is one of them, you can use that data to see how far you are into the range … and how far you can go.

This is valuable information. It might give you something to strive for — a raise in your current role, or a promotion. Or, if you love your job but are pretty far into the range, it might make you think about whether you need to look outside the company for your next move.

3. You’ll Be Able to Compare Apples to Apples When Job Searching

If you do decide to make a change, total compensation statements can make it easier to compare a potential new job to the one you have. With an offer in hand, you can compare the new employer’s non-cash benefits to your current employer’s offerings. More information means that you’re no longer making a blind leap into the unknown, but a calculated move to bigger and better things.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

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Does your employer share current compensation statements with employees? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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