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Pay Element Detail: Bonuses

Compa Offers Properties

Pay Element Also Known As... Time Period Definition
Ongoing Bonus Annual bonus, target bonus, cash incentive, short-term incentive Annual

Typically expressed as a percentage of base salary or as a target cash amount.
Representative of the organization's corporate bonus program where employees are eligible for an ongoing bonus, based on achievement of corporate and/or individual goals.
Sign-on Bonus New hire bonus, starting bonus, hiring bonus, signing bonus One-time

Typically expressed as a cash amount.
Used to attract employees with hard-to-find skills or as a way to make an employee "whole" if they are leaving money on the table from their previous employer.
Relocation Bonus Moving bonus, lump sum, relocation allowance One-time

Typically expressed as a cash amount.
A fixed, lump sum amount provided to a candidate to help them manage expenses related to moving from one location to another.
All Other Bonuses Relocation, milestone, spot, patent, referral, project, etc. One-time

Typically expressed as a cash amount.
Any one-time variable payment an organization might offer a candidate that is outside of a sign-on bonus. Includes relocation bonuses.


The tables and information below highlight localization, prevalence and notes across global regions. Not all regions may have data available for specific pay elements and/or countries, and not all countries may be represented in Compa Offers at this time.

Information is representative of aggregate regional findings as country-specific prevalence for Sign-on and Other One-Time bonuses is rare. To the extent localized data is available, it will be included on a country-by-country basis.

Information has been vetted with compensation professionals, however we always recommend you confirm requirements with your organization's local, in-country experts.

NORTH AMERICA (Includes Canada and the United States)

Pay Element Localization Prevalence Notes
Ongoing Bonus % of base salary or target cash amount Typical; eligibility based on career level Typically paid once, annually
Sign-on Bonus % of base salary or amount Occasional Typically paid over 1 year; some orgs may have longer payout requirements
Relocation Bonus Amount Occasional Typically one-time payment
All Other Bonuses Amount Occasional Typically one-time payment





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