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Swiss employees remain at number one in the Top 20 European pay rankings

Global 50 Renumeration Report from Willis Towers Watson

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January 30, 2019

Both graduates and middle managers in Switzerland remain the highest paid when compared to the Top 20 European economies, the Global 50 Renumeration Report from Willis Towers Watson revealed.

ZÜRICH, 30 January 2019 – Both graduates and middle managers in Switzerland remain the highest paid when compared to the Top 20 European economies, the Global 50 Renumeration Report from Willis Towers Watson revealed.

Switzerland is the country with the highest salaries within the Willis Towers Watson gross median salary ranking. When wages are adjusted downward as taxes and the cost-of-living are factored in, Swiss employees still have a higher buying power than all other Europeans, except at graduate level where relative buying power is in second place in the rankings (where Luxembourg just edges into number 1).

In its latest Global 50 Remuneration Planning Report, Willis Towers Watson - the global advisory, broking and solutions company - found that the typical middle manager in Switzerland earns a gross base salary of US$ 163’443 a year while an entry level professional makes US$ 88’498.

When those figures are adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), which takes buying power into account, Switzerland’s middle managers remain in first place for relative wealth, with a salary of US$ 97’609. Entry level professionals also enjoy the strong comparative position, sitting only just in second place with US$ 58’530 with Germany in third place for both employee categories.

Commenting on the overall European results, Stewart Dyer, Director, Global Data Services at Willis Towers Watson, Switzerland, said that: “while the relative positioning of pay in Switzerland remains at the top of our European rankings, over the last three years we have seen gross median salary levels from the General Industry market flatten or decline slightly in Switzerland.’

‘While we don’t expect to see Switzerland’s positioning in the rankings change rapidly, the gap between Switzerland and the rest of Europe will be a key area of interest.

The salary results Top 15 European economies

Entry Level Professionals (Median Gross Total Compensation)
Rank Country Salary (US$)
1 Switzerland 88'498
2 Luxembourg 63'007
3 Denmark 61'355
4 Norway 60'382
5 Germany 60'336
6 Austria  54'412
7 Belgium  54'052
8 Netherlands  48'760
9 Finland  47'302
10 Sweden  44'465
11 Ireland  44'010
12 France  42'487
13 United Kingdom  37'122
14 Italy  36'842
15 Spain  33'881
Mid-Level Manager (Median Gross Total Compensation)
Rank Country Salary (US$)
1 Switzerland  163'443
2 Luxembourg  126'012
3 Denmark  122'711
4 Germany  120'755
5 Austria  118'287
6 Belgium  114'501
7 Netherlands  112'557
8 Ireland  106'574
9 Norway  105'510
10 United Kingdom  98'192
11 France  95'177
12 Finland  89'164
13 Italy  88'954
14 Spain  87'370
15 Sweden  86'116
Entry Level Professionals (Median Relative Buying Power)
Rank Country Salary (US$)
1 Luxembourg  58'865
2 Switzerland  58'530
3 Germany  46'905
4 Belgium  41'508
5 Ireland  41'474
6 Austria  41'121
7 Netherlands  38'317
8 United Kingdom  36'994
9 Norway  35'298
10 Denmark  35'154
11 Sweden  33'624
12 France  33'555
13 Spain  30'967
14 Finland  30'292
15 Italy  26'032
Mid-Level Manager (Median Relative Buying Power)
Rank Country Salary (US$)
1 Switzerland  97'609
2 Luxembourg  96'005
3 Germany  82'277
4 Austria  74'531
5 Ireland  72'930
6 United Kingdom  71'249
7 France  68'348
8 Spain  67'166
9 Netherlands  66'924
10 Belgium  65'090
11 Denmark  58'775
12 Slovenia  55'844
13 Norway  55'128
14 Sweden  52'932
15 Poland  52'323

Background about the study

The Willis Towers Watson Global 50 Remuneration Planning Report is designed for multinationals that need reliable and consistent compensation, benefit and economic information. It contains the latest pay information for 50 positions across 60 countries globally. The 2018/2019 report is available to purchase in full.

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