This is according to the latest BankservAfrica Disposable Salary Index (BDSI) which found that the average monthly take-home salary for South Africans was around R12 715, rising slightly to R13 733 for December last year.
“Average take-home salaries increased by 6,7% in 2015, down from the 8,8% increase in 2014. Real average salaries were 2% higher in 2015 than 2014. This means that salaries beat the average inflation rate of 4,6% quite comfortably, albeit at a slower pace than in 2014,” the index found.
The other piece of good news to come out of the report is the fact that people on pension received substantially higher increases compared to salary increases.
“Despite bankable pensions averaging only 46% of disposable salaries in 2015, average pensions increased 9,1% over 2014. Real average pensions increased by 4,3% for the year. The average pension for 2015 was R5 840 and the actual average pension in December 2015 was R6 116,” the report states.
BankservAfrica has, however, warned of a slow down in pension increases towards the end of 2015, which implies that pension income growth in 2016 may not be positive as a result of market volatility and trustees’ ability to increase pensions.
Meanwhile, the median salary for the country for 2015 rose by 7,1% to R9 374, indicating that lower income earners made notable gains compared to their middle- to upper-income earners.
“Part of the reason for this is that tax brackets for lower and median workers are not increasing quite as much as for those in the higher tax brackets. It may also be a function of some garnishee orders being closed or cancelled, allowing more of a person’s salary to go into a bank account,” it notes.
Around 38,6% of the Index’s dataset represent employees who take home between R10 000 and R25 000.
“The last two years have seen above inflation increases in money that goes into both employee and pensioner accounts. This has helped keep retail sales alive and has also helped discretionary spend in travel and entertainment.”