Thursday, October 30, 2014 Shares 2014 Bonuses Report and Hosts Financial Literacy Talk by Fitz Villafuerte

Christmas is fast approaching and employees are definitely looking forward to their year-end bonuses. According to Philippines, Inc., those in the banking and finance industry, as well as those in the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) or call center and manufacturing fields, may be ending 2014 with fat pockets.

The recent Bonuses Report* survey revealed that the top three industries to provide guaranteed bonuses to their employees are the banking and finance, BPO and call center, and manufacturing sectors. These are followed by food and beverage, real estate, advertising/media, telecommunications, and retail. All of them were found to provide guaranteed bonuses of at least one  up to four month's worth or more on top of the mandated 13th month pay. 

On the other hand, the BPO/call center industry tops the list of providers of non-guaranteed and performance-based bonuses that range from two to four months' worth of work. These kinds of bonuses are also commonly given to employees in the fields of banking and finance, manufacturing, and retail.

As expected, there is a gap seen between perceptions of employers (46% says yes) and employees (56% says no) when it comes to bonuses being at par with what other companies in the same industry are giving out. 

In addition, 22% of employees claim that a decrease in bonus scheme will make them look for other employment opportunities; 66% say that while bonuses are important, there are other factors that affect decisions to stay with their company or not. Employers were more dismissive of bonuses as a factor in retaining employees, with only 13% saying it is a major reason in making employees stay while 56% of employers say bonuses are only one of the many factors in employee retention.

Despite the statistics mentioned above, it was seen that there may be a connection in the schedule of bonuses' release and the months when many employees resign. December is the most popular month of bonus releases while January is when most resignations happen. With December also the month when the 13th month pay is usually released, it is reasonable to point out that while both employers and employees claim that bonuses are not the top factor in attrition, those who do plan to leave their jobs deliberately wait for their bonuses before handling in their resignation.

The thing is, there are people who resign without securing their finances first. During the press con held at Bubba Gump in Greenbelt 3, Registered Financial Planner Fitz Villafuerte shared tips on how to make the most out of one's salaries and bonuses so you are not left high and dry in the next months in case you already want to leave your job but haven't found a replacement yet.

Villafuerte encourages employees not to wait for the New Year to start implementing resolutions to improving their finances. "Work on them now," he advises saying one should start changing his personal finance mindset and habits way before the year ends. He also explains that it would be hard to grow one's money if you're doing it the wrong way. "To save money, pay yourself first." Follow the rule of putting aside savings before allotting the rest of your salary or bonus for expenses. 

He also stresses the need to strictly follow the Three Steps to Becoming Rich

1. Save - Make it a habit. Start by saving 5-10% of your earnings for the first few months then slowly increase it. 

2. Protect - Put away an emergency fund that's six months' worth of your salary. This will be your buffer while looking for a new and better job because it will prevent you from snapping up the first job offer that comes along (because you are running low on funds) even if it's not really what you wanted. Also, make sure to have health and life insurance to protect your family from devastating financial problems in case a member suddenly falls ill or passes away.

3. Invest - Only do this after making sure you have done the first two. No skipping! Find financial vehicles that will help grow your money but research first and study well what you're getting into before letting go of your hard-earned money. 

For more personal finance tips, you may want to grab a copy of Villafuerte's book The Ready to Be Rich Guide in Investing. Visit his website for more information.

*'s survey was conducted from September 30 to October 15, 2014 involving 143 companies and 1,260 respondents coming from various industries and with a good mix of positions from entry level to Director/AVP/VP.

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