A recent survey of Hong Kong companies by Hewitt Associates LLC, a global management consulting firm, projects for this year an average 2.9% increase in salaries, up from 2.4% in 1999. However, of the 138 companies surveyed, 18 will be implementing a salary freeze policy. Salary increases cross all staff levels and will vary between 1.8% and 3.1%, compared with a 0.9% to 2.4% variance last year. The Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Hewitt Associates' survey also revealed an increasing trend to place more salary at risk by using variable pay, which is typically linked to individual performance and company results. Also, the survey showed that long-term incentives are becoming more prevalent. "Employers are refocusing their strategies on long-term goals and rethinking how to best invest in their most valuable corporate assets -- people," says David Gueundjian, Hewitt's Hong Kong general manager. Of the 138 survey participants, 116 were multinational corporations, and 22 were large Hong Kong-based organizations.