Sunday, March 25, 2007

Market Salaries for Top People

Sent to two newspapers.

25 March 2007


I believe that most Singaporeans accept the rationale of paying attractive salaries to government ministers and top civil servants, and adjusting their salaries to reflect changes in the market.

Perhaps the concern is the use of the current benchmark, which is based on the top 8 salaries in Singapore. This is a small sample and is likely to produce highly volatile results that are affected by exceptional factors.

I wish to suggest a modified formula:

* calculate the benchmark based on the top 100, 500 or 1000 salaries in Singapore
* calculate the salaries of the office holders at certain percentages (could be more than 100%) of the benchmark according to their level of responsibility
* this will result in a more stable benchmark that will reflect changes in the market for the top people in Singapore.

For the younger top civil servants, the benchmark can be computed based on the top 100, 500 or 1000 salaries for people below 35 years.

Tan Kin Lian

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