Go to top of page


The Australian Public Service (APS) Remuneration Report 2018 presents a summary of remuneration paid to APS employees under the Public Service Act 1999 as at 31 December 2018. The report provides APS agencies with data that informs their remuneration practices.

This annual report builds on several years of trend information and serves as an important public record for the APS.

Peter Woolcott AO

Australian Public Service Commissioner

July 2019

Executive summary

Key findings for 2018:

  • Continued wage increases under enterprise agreements and agency-level determinations drove wage growth of 2.0% across the APS in 2018.
  • Median weighted Base Salaries increased by 2.0% for non-SES and 3.8% for SES employees. Median Base Salaries increased across all classifications in 2018.
  • For the majority of classification levels, there were only small differences between male and female median Base Salaries. Most were less than 1%. The difference in average remuneration between genders has decreased to 7.8% reflecting increased female representation at senior classifications.
  • 3,666 employees had an Individual Flexibility Arrangement, of which approximately 75% provided for additional pay and allowances.
  • Nearly half (48.3%) of all employees are enrolled in the Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan (PSSAP).
  • 15,633 employees received performance bonuses, down by 14% since 2017. The number of SES paid performance bonuses has continued to decrease since 2014.

Influences on the 2018 results:

  • Most non-SES employees are covered by workplace arrangements that delivered 2% general wage increases. The influence of these agreements can be observed in the patterns of increase in remuneration components for these classifications in 2018.
  • Large agencies have a substantial impact on remuneration. For example, the Department of Human Services, the Australian Taxation Office, the Department of Defence and the Department of Home Affairs make up approximately 58% of the APS ongoing workforce and are therefore influential on median figures.
  • Similarly, the majority of employees are employed across the APS 1-6 classifications, with more than half of those between the APS 4 and APS 6 levels. In contrast, SES account for less than 2% of all employees and therefore have minimal influence on the overall median.
  • SES employees are generally employed under individual arrangements negotiated between an agency and an individual. There are a range of factors that can have a prominent effect on remuneration change, given the small size of the SES cohort. These include movements between agencies, differences in remuneration policy by agency and the creation of new SES positions, and an apparent move to roll motor vehicle related allowances into base salary for same employees.

Last reviewed: 
18 July 2019