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Morneau Shepell compensation survey shows salary increase budgets for 2014 are comparable to 2013

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Pension/Retirement / Canada

Morneau Shepell compensation survey shows salary increase budgets for 2014 are comparable to 2013

MONTRÉAL, Aug. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian employers expect salaries to rise by an average of 2.6% in 2014, according to Morneau Shepell's annual Compensation Survey. This is similar to the increase expected for 2013 and also in line with increases actually granted in 2013. This 2.6% average includes expected salary freezes and excludes promotional or special salary adjustments.

Overall, respondents expect 2014 to be pretty flat in terms of revenue growth, profitability and staffing level.

Respondents in the mining and oil & gas extraction sector expect the greatest salary increases for 2014 at 3.5% on average, but such expectations fall short of the whopping 4.7% granted in 2013 in the oil & gas extraction sector. The manufacturing sector, a key contributor to Canada economic performance, is expected to maintain salary increases in line with the overall average, although some traditional sub-sectors such as printing and paper or wood products are budgeting significantly lower salary increases. Salary budgets are tight as ever and more than 70% of respondents identify the competitiveness of their compensation package as the number one priority on the compensation front.

Sponsors of defined benefit pension plans continue to struggle with oversized pension costs.  70% of large organizations offering defined benefit plans indicate that this is their top issue for next year. In the last couple of years, nearly 50% of these organizations have either elected for funding relief measures made available in various Canadian jurisdictions or adopted plan changes aimed at reducing the employer pension cost. 15% of those who have not yet implemented employer cost reduction measures intend to do so next year. Such a high level of activity is simply unprecedented.

Sponsors of defined contribution retirement plans appear to enjoy a much smoother ride then their defined benefit counterparts. Still, we see rising concerns by sponsors about the ability for participants to adequately plan for their retirement. Short of increasing the level of contributions to these plans, sponsors are strongly promoting financial education for plan members, including making available sophisticated decision support tools, and simplifying the suite of investment options available in order to facilitate the plan members decision-making process.

While cost control and disability management come up as the top priorities for 2014 for sponsors of benefits programs, as many as 15% of our respondents have improved their health care programs over the last couple of years while 10% plan to implement improvements next year.

The issue of mental health in the workplace has grabbed significant employers' attention over the last few years. More than 40% of responding organizations plan to implement management training initiatives next year. These initiatives aim to help remove the stigma associated with mental health issues by equipping managers to better address these delicate matters as they arise. Further, in response to the new voluntary National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, one-third of the respondents plan to implement policies in this respect next year while 20% did so during the last two years. The level of activity in this human resources management area is exponential.

Morneau Shepell's 31st annual Compensation - Trends and Projections survey was conducted between mid-June and mid-August, 2013, with input from over 300 organizations employing nearly three million people. The benchmark organizations are mostly from the manufacturing (28%), services (26%), and finance (12%) sectors.

A detailed report of the survey results is available. To purchase the survey report, please visit:

About Morneau Shepell Inc.
Morneau Shepell is the largest company in Canada offering human resources consulting and outsourcing services. The Company is the leading provider of Employee and Family Assistance Programs, as well as the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans. Through health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves more than 8,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With approximately 3,300 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States, and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit

SOURCE Morneau Shepell Inc.

For further information:

Nathan Gibson
Coordinator, Corporate Communications
416.445.8899 ext. 3308