Private sector bonuses averaged 1,700 GBP in 2012/13 - ONS annual survey


Private sector bonuses averaged £1,700 in 2012/13 – ONS annual survey

Bonus payments during the tax year April 2012 to March 2013 rose to £36.9 billion, an increase of 1% on the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics. The average pay out was around £1,400 per employee, while private sector workers received £1,700.


Survey results

  • Of the £36.9 billion total, £13.3 billion was paid in the finance and insurance industry, virtually unchanged from the previous year.
  • The overall increase in bonus payments was driven by the rest of the economy, which experienced a 1% increase in bonuses.
  • Bonus payments in the rest of the economy reached £23.6 billion, almost as high as the record level of 2007/08.
  • The average bonus per employee in finance and insurance was £11,900, down £100 on last year.
  • Workers in mining and quarrying (including oil extraction and exploration) received the next highest bonuses at £6,700 per employee, a drop of £200.
  • The average private sector worker received £1,700 in bonuses, approximately six times higher than their public sector counterparts of £300. ONS says: “However, private sector workers are on average in receipt of lower regular pay than people working in the public sector; bonuses are a more significant part of total pay in the private sector.”
  • If financial services – which include the temporarily nationalised banks – are removed from the public sector, the average public sector worker’s bonus falls to £100.
  • Deferral of bonus payments – to avoid the 50p top tax rate – contributed to weaker “bonus season”, as the media reports below highlight.

Want to know more?

Title: Average Weekly Earnings: Bonus payments in Great Britain, 2012/13, by Grace Anyaegbu, Office for National Statistics, August 2013.

Availability: The 10-age report is available for download at