Determining Individual Merit Increases

MIT is committed to retaining its many talented employees. Studies show that one of the most effective ways to retain top performers is to reward them based on job performance.

Managers can reward performance most effectively by carefully distributing their merit pool. Merit increases can be used to recognize an employee's performance, contributions, and past year's achievements.

In considering merit increases, you may find it helpful to visit:

Keep in Mind

  • Individuals with superior performance can be recognized with review increases at or above the established merit allocation amounts. Individuals with average performance would receive lesser amounts.
  • If an employee does not meet performance expectations, consider deferring a merit increase for three to six months to see if performance improves during that time period.
    • Before choosing this option, consult with your Human Resources Officer. The Deferred Merit increase should not be the first indication to an employee that a performance problem exists.
  • For employees to understand their level of performance, communicate with them about their:
    • Established performance ratings
    • Department's corresponding merit ranges
    • Specific merit allocation

How MIT’s Annual Merit Increase is Determined

The Compensation Office, in conjunction with appropriate MIT senior leadership, develops initial recommendations for each of the Institute’s various staff categories.

  • Recommendations are prepared after careful study of
    • the Institute's relationship to the outside market
    • its salary trends
    • general economic indicators, such as national and regional inflation and unemployment patterns
    • local, regional, and national market data—including industry and higher education pay program trends—which helps ensure that MIT’s merit program is comparable to those in other industries, including higher education.
  • Initial recommendations are reviewed and approved by the Salary Subcommittee. The Salary Subcommittee Chair reviews the recommendations with the Executive Committee of the Corporation for final vote. Recommendations are evaluated in the context of the Institute's financial position and available funds.

Annual Merit Increase Eligibility and Effective Dates

Category Review Eligibility (on or before) Effective Date of Increase
Sponsored Research Staff
July 1 January 1
Support Staff
When start date is on or before the last Monday in November.

Example: If April 1 falls on a Tuesday, the increase is effective for the pay period beginning Monday, March 31.

Beginning of the pay period closest to April 1.
Administrative and Medical Staff
January 1 July 1
Faculty and Other Academic Staff Date of hire July 1, if actively employed.

NOTE: Review increases are effective on July 1 for Service Staff

See more information on the annual performance review and merit increase schedule.

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