An Aon Hewitt survey of nearly 1,500 large U.S. companies indicated that the percentage of companies using performance-based compensation programs has reached a high of 92%. The survey indicated that base salaries are projected to increase by an average of 2.9% in 2012, compared with 4% salary increase averages commonly seen in the 1990s. "The growing use of variable pay, along with lower salary increases, represents the new normal in compensation practices for employers nationwide," Aon Hewitt's Ken Abosch said.

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