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Bonus Watch ’20: PwC Is Kinda, Sorta Going Forth with Bonuses, Raises (UPDATE)

[Updated on June 12 with additional information.]

So we were told today by a couple of people that PwC had a webcast for new hires on Thursday, led by Chairman Tim Ryan, U.S. Recruitment Leader Rod Adams, and a couple of other people. Once the spiel about what PwC is doing to address the COVID-19 crisis, racial problems, diversity and inclusion, and community service was done, the only topic that new hires really and truly care about—pay—was finally addressed.

A tipster told us:

They talked about how they are staying committed to keeping the offers to new hires and all that. Also how the firm is strong as of the fiscal year that is just ending and how the partners are getting the most [pay] cuts and all those stories.

Towards the end Rod explained it loud and clear that last year tax and audit new hires got big adjustments for base pay coz of the great economy blah blah. So now since we are not in a so much great economy anymore we are gonna send all of you which are around 4K people in tax and audit new offers with pay cuts starting Friday the 12th. No changes to advisory.

Now, one person said on Reddit last night that the reason why advisory is not receiving a pay cut is that “they said that they haven’t increased the advisory starting salary for three years so there’s nothing to cut.”

There were some concerns recently that because of the way bonuses and raises and new hire offers were being handled for FY 2020, incoming first-years would be making more than current first-years/soon-to-be second-years (see below). So PwC said last week that pay for new hires would be “adjusted” (cut) to make sure that wouldn’t happen.

We haven’t heard directly how much of a pay cut incoming PwCers will be receiving, but a couple of people who will be starting in tax posted on Reddit that their revised offer letter contained a 5% pay cut, or $3,000 less, compared to their original offer letters.

[Updated on June 5 with additional information.]

While Deloitte was passing out pink slips on Wednesday morning, PwC was passing out the delicious Kool-Aid to employees this afternoon while giving them the lowdown on compensation, bonuses, and potential layoffs.

During an all-hands webcast on June 3, PwCers learned the following, according to a source:

  • No base salary increases but those who are promoted will get a raise. However, there will be a base salary freeze for FY 2021.
  • FY 2020 bonuses will still be paid out (probably pretty meager).
  • Newly promoted managers will still get their manager milestone bonus.
  • Partners are taking a reduction in distributions (don’t know how much).
  • Full-time offers and internships will be honored.

And TPTB reiterated that the firm is committed to not laying anyone off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although many PwCers are cynical that there will be pandemic-related layoffs dressed up as “performance-based reductions.”

While some at PwC seem to be quite pleased with the outcome of the webcast, others have used the usual chatter sites, like Fishbowl, to express their displeasure at the possibility of experienced staff being paid less than new hires:

I’m curious how that will be for A2s who are potentially going to be paid the same if not less (considering first year hire rates were adjusted for the new year) than the first year hires that come in this year

If that were to happen, and that’s a big IF, fine-tune that resume and get the f*ck outta there.

But don’t worry, A2s. As expected, PwC made sure you won’t be paid less than A1s. Here are two tips we got on June 4:

The concern in the article about PwC comp that A2s could earn less than new hires is unfounded. Part of the Wednesday announcement clarifications that came out on Thursday morning stated that new hire offers will be adjusted down to make sure A2s earn more than new hires.

And …

Tip on PwC bonus article – A2s will make more than A1s as A1 offers are being decreased by a bit.

This should make you feel #PwCProud, A2s.

Here’s a proud PwCer who gave us their reaction to Wednesday’s webcast:

While I obviously don’t love not getting a base salary raise, I’m so happy that the firm isn’t handing out any pink slips. I am very willing to not get a bonus or a raise if that means that none of my coworkers will get laid off. Also, I’m very proud that the partners are taking a reduction — that’s some great leadership from the top!

Any other proud PwCers out there? You are welcome to contact us (see info below) or include any comments on how all this makes you feel—good or bad.