Salary Structure in India

 What’s the ideal salary structure?

So what’s the best way to draft salary structures?  To answer this, we’ve put together a table of the common components that make up a salary.  We’ve also added recommended amounts to each component that should assist you in drafting an ideal salary structure.


Component Recommendation
Basic 40-50% of CTC
DA 5% of CTC
HRA 50% of Basic + DA if metro and 40% if non-metro
Conveyance Rs. 1,600 a month
Medical Rs. 1250 a month
LTA No real benchmark, can even be used as a plug, but if not can set as 10% of Basic
ESIC (Employer Contribution) 4.75% of Gross Salary
ESIC (Employee Contribution) 1.75% of Gross Salary
Special Usually used as a balancing component
Provident Fund (Employer)* 12% of Basic + DA
Provident Fund (Employee) 12% of Basic + DA
Professional Tax As per statewise slabs
Labour Welfare Fund As per statewise slabs

*Note 1: The PF Employer Contribution also bears additional administrative charges
*Note 2: Feel free to use components like Child Hostel and Child Education; since they are small, we have ignored in our structure

For higher income employees:

• You can use Mobile, Driver Salary, Books and Periodicals and Car Maintenance
• You can set these amounts based on what you think the expenses of that employee would be, keeping in mind the exemption limits for Driver’s Salary and Car Maintenance.

Structuring Salaries is an inevitable task for every HR and Payroll professional. Despite the importance of the activity, professionals are often uninformed of the technical and best practices of a drafting a complete and efficient salary structure.

1) Basic Salary + Dearness allowance


The Basic component is the primary component and the core of the salary structure.  It is usually the largest component of the CTC making up for 40-45% of the total CTC.   The basic plays an important role in defining the salary as other components like Provident Fund, Gratuity and ESIC are dependent on it.

Dearness Allowance (DA) was introduced as part of the salary as a means to reduce the burden of inflation on salaried employees.  This amount is usually set to about 5% of the total CTC and like the Basic component it also has an effect on PF, ESIC etc.

You should keep the following in mind while setting the amounts for Basic and DA:

  1. If it’s too high, it will increase the tax liability of the employee since this component is fully taxable. It also affects the liability of the employer since higher contributions would be required for PF, ESIC etc.
  2. If it’s too low, then you may not be able to meet the minimum wage norms set by the respective state government. Since minimum wages are updated regularly, you would run the risk of falling below the recommended wage limit.

2) House Rent Allowance (HRA)

The House Rent Allowance, as the name suggests is a component that employees can leverage if they are living in rented accommodations.  The amount that you can claim as tax deduction under HRA cannot be more than 50% of your basic in a metro or 40% of your basic in a non-metro.  Hence, depending on where your workplace is located, this salary component will usually be set at 40% or 50% of the basic salary.

  1. When Should Employee declare the amount to get Tax benefit
    At the beginning of new financial year along with your other tax saving plans (like LIC,PPF, Loan , etc), before 25th April’ 2018 employees need to declare their details with their employer for FY 2018-2019.
  2. When should Employee submit actual proof to HR     

    Usually by the end of the financial year employees need to submit their tax saving documents with their concern HR. Resigned Employee : At the time of Exit employee should ensure to provide their actual tax saving proofs to concern HR before the FnF settlement gets finalised or else excess tax will be recovered from the settlement amount.

3) Leave travel allowance (LTA)

Leave travel allowance (LTA) remunerates employees for their travel within the country.  This component is widely used by employers due to the tax benefits associated with it.  An employee can claim tax benefits for the fare expenses paid for his/her family when they take a holiday.  However, there are restrictions to what you can claim as tax benefits:

  1. Only fare expenses are covered: Only the travel fare expenses can be claimed. Stay and food on your trip aren’t covered.
  2. Travel must be within India: If you travel to a foreign country, the expenses aren’t tax deductible.  Only travel within the country is covered.
  3. What counts as family: Immediate family that are mainly dependant on the employee are covered under LTA.
  4. When Should Employee declare the amount to get Tax benefit
    At the beginning of new financial year along with your other tax saving plans (like LIC,PPF, Loan , etc), before 25th April’ 2018 employees need to declare their details under ‘Tax Declaration’ tab enter the Tax Saving Plans for FY 2018-2019.
  5. When should Employee submit actual proof to HR 




Usually by the end of the financial year employees need to submit their tax saving documents with their concern HR.Resigned Employee : At the time of Exit employee should ensure to provide their actual tax saving proofs to concern HR before the FnF settlement gets finalised or else excess tax will be recovered from the settlement amount.

4) Conveyance Allowance

Note: With the introduction of standard deduction, exemption on Conveyance allowance has been removed effective April 2018 onwards. Employees don’t need to collect or submit any Conveyance proof.

5) Medical Allowance

Note: With the introduction of standard deduction, exemption on Medical allowance has been removed effective April 2018 onwards. Employees don’t need to collect or submit any Medical proof.

6) Child Education Allowance

This component is paid out towards tuition fees of employees’ children and is tax deductible up to Rs. 100 every month for a maximum of two children. Hence, this amount is usually set to not more than Rs. 2,400 a year for an employee.

  1. When Should Employee declare the amount to get Tax benefit
    Provide the count of children to your concern HR, for availing tax benefit on Education Allowance.
  2. When should Employee submit actual proof to HR
    Usually by 15th January’ 2019 employees need to submit their tax saving documents with their concern HR.

Resigned Employee : At the time of Exit employee should ensure to provide their actual tax saving proofs to concern HR before the FnF settlement gets finalised or else excess tax will be recovered from the settlement amount.

7) Special Allowance

Special allowance is the balancing component of the salary structure.  It is usually used by organisation as the leftover of the CTC when the rest of the components have been paid out.  This component is fully taxable and is also taken into account for the calculation of Provident Fund.

Deductions:

Deductions are elements of the salary that are part of the CTC but are deducted from the in-hand salary that employees receive. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the most common salary deductions and what they mean.

1) Provident Fund

Provident Fund (PF) is calculated at 12% of Basic + DA + Special Allowance.  The employer and the employee both make an equal contribution of 12% each.  This is applicable to companies who have 20 or more employees on their payroll.   If an employee’s Basic + DA + Special Allowance are less than Rs. 15,000 then it is mandatory for Provident Fund to be deducted.  Other employees can opt out by filling form 11 or can choose to have PF deducted on the ceiling of Rs. 15,000 which would be Rs. 1,800 monthly.

2) Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

Deductions towards ESIC are mandatory for employees whose gross salary is not more than Rs. 21,000.  It is only applicable in companies where there are 20 or more employees within the Rs.21,000 gross salary bracket.  Employees have to make a contribution of 1.75% of the gross salary and employers have to make a contribution of 4.75% of the gross salary.

3) Professional Tax

Professional tax is the tax levied by Governments of certain states on salaried employees. The states where professional tax is applicable are Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, and Sikkim.

The amount of profession Tax that is deducted varies from state to state where they are applicable.

4) Labour Welfare Fund

Labour Welfare Fund, as the name suggests, is a contribution made by salaried employees for the benefit of the labour class.  This contribution is applicable in the states of Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana & Madhya Pradesh.

The contribution amount varies from state to state and is relatively small. The employer and the employee both make contributions and the employer pays approximately twice the employee contribution. The payments are made semi-annually in the months of June and December.

Like Professional Tax, Labour Welfare Fund contributions also vary from state to state where they are applicable.

Component Tax Deduction Is PF Applicable? Is ESIC Applicable Part of Gratuity Minimum Amount
Basic Fully Taxable Yes: Yes Yes As per Minimum Wages
DA Fully Taxable Yes Yes Yes As per Minimum Wages
Medical Fully Taxable effective April 2018 No Yes No None
Conveyance Fully Taxable effective April 2018 No Yes No None
HRA Tax Exemption subject to the minimum of the following 3 conditions
1) Actual HRA
2) 50% of Basic + DA if Metro or 40% of Basic + DA if non metro
3) Total Rent – 10% of Basic
No Yes No Varies Depending on the state
LTA As per actuals of the fare expenses on leave travel No Yes No None
Children Education Allowance Rs. 100 monthly for each child up to 2 children No Yes No None
Children Hostel Allowance Rs. 300 monthly per child for up to 2 children No Yes No None
Mobile & Telephone Reimbursement Actual expenses incurred on one mobile phone and one landline No No No None
Car Maintenance Rs. 1800/- p.m. in case Cubic Capacity of engine is 1.6 litres or else Rs. 2400 p.m. No No No None
Driver Salary Actuals of driver’s salary up to Rs. 900 monthly No No No None
Books & Periodicals Actual expenses No No No None
Special Fully Taxable No Yes No None

Deductions, when applied to the CTC give you the actual take-home salary that an employee gets.

93 COMMENTS

  1. Is the basic calculated @ 40% of the Gross salary. My consultant advises me to calculate @ 75%, is this according to law. Please advice. Regards

  2. Very informative and educative for fresh employee. PF, Bonus, Fixed Allowance, Incentives also form part of CTC and therefore need to balance either with Systematic Investment Plans (SIP) or Long term Infra bonds that are exempted from taxes to the tune of 40% under Sec 80CC / 80 CCC (D)

  3. MY COMPNANY DO NOT FOLLOW THIS SALARY STRUCTURE & GIVES VERY SMALL AMOUNT AS BASIC AND LERGER PART AS DA AND ALSO DO NOT PROVIDE EQUAL PF CONTRIBUTION. THEY DO NOT FOLLOW THE RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  4. Good information for New Employers, so many employers suffering about this structure, they depending some agents called Auditor, they are not explain about this, simple they are collect fee.
    They don’t response any problems.

  5. I
    Hello I m. Pooja. And I m working private company and my salary over all 8000/- with ctcl and in provident fund deductions 2 times and ESIC but I have no any record about this facilities please clearfy me.

  6. MY COMPNANY DO NOT FOLLOW THIS SALARY STRUCTURE & GIVES VERY SMALL AMOUNT AS BASIC AND LERGER PART AS DA AND ALSO DO NOT PROVIDE EQUAL PF CONTRIBUTION. THEY DO NOT FOLLOW THE RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  7. If any company take Regine all employees of his one department without any notice/information.
    And the department work has given to agency.

    Than what can they all employees do?
    Please let me wright ?

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  9. Hi I agree
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  11. I am agree .
    But any ltd.company no provided perment employee – bonus / leave / week off
    Why no follow rules in india ? Please suggest me

  12. i am the Proprietor/ Trader/ Distributor of a Packaged Drinking Water business. at present i have 3 employees – 2 of which are my sons. Could u advise me the salary structure I need to adopt.my turnover is 5-6 lacs per annum.

  13. i am the Proprietor/ Trader/ Distributor of a Packaged Drinking Water business. at present i have 3 employees – 2 of which are my sons. Could u advise me the salary structure I need to adopt.my turnover is 5-6 lacs per annum.

    if this comment has already been posted then pls reply, as I havent received a reply as yet!

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