Central Pacific Bank has become the fourth local financial institution to announce it will give holiday bonuses to employees and increase its minimum wage.
The state’s fourth-largest bank, which has about 850 employees, said late Sunday afternoon that it will provide a $1,000 bonus to all of its workforce with the exception of executives on its managing committee. The bank said the bonuses will be paid on Friday and will be in addition to the normal annual or quarterly bonuses it provides based on individual and company performances.
In addition, the bank said it will be increasing its starting pay rate to $15.25 an hour from $12 an hour starting Jan. 1 for about 126 employees. Central Pacific also said it will increase the pay for other wage “progression” positions to maintain a proportionate spread between those positions and the entry level positions where the minimum wage is being raised to $15.25 an hour.
The moves by the four local banks and some companies on the mainland are the result of the passage of the $1.5 trillion Republican tax overhaul, which will save companies money by lowering income taxes. The federal corporate tax rate will be reduced to 21 percent from 35 percent beginning Jan. 1. Some mainland companies previously announced that they would give their employees bonuses, increased worker pay, or both, after the passage of the tax bill.
“We are delighted to have this opportunity with the lowering of the corporate tax rate to take care of our hard-working employees, who are our most important asset, and give them an extra special holiday this year,” Central Pacific President and CEO Catherine Ngo said in a statement.
Bank of Hawaii, the state’s second-largest bank, began the progression of bonuses and wage increases when it announced Friday afternoon it would give out $1,000 bonuses to most employees and increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour from $12 an hour.
First Hawaiian Bank, the state’s largest bank, followed about two hours later by announcing it would reward most of its employees with $1,500 bonuses and increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour from $12.75 an hour.
On Saturday, American Savings Bank, the state’s third-largest bank, said it would give out $1,000 bonuses to most of its employees and increase its minimum wage to $15.25 an hour from $12.21 an hour.
The new state minimum wage of $10.10 an hour is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1. The current state minimum wage is $9.25 an hour.