More Businesses Raise Wages, Give Bonuses in Wake of Tax Cuts

More businesses are announcing bonuses, higher minimum wages, and new benefits for employees after passage by Congress of Republicans’ tax reform bill. 

An email from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s press office highlights 33 businesses—including Aflac, Associated Bank, and PNC Bank—that have announced raises, bonuses, and other improvements for employees.

In moves that may defuse efforts to mandate higher minimum wages across the nation, at least nine of the 33 businesses announced they are boosting their minimum wage for thousands of workers to $15 or more an hour.

“Happy New Year and welcome to 2018, where Americans are waking up across the country with a brand new, pro-growth tax code,” the Wisconsin Republican’s press office says.  “Despite the doom and gloom rhetoric from the left and special-interest groups, millions of hardworking people are already seeing benefits.”

Among developments:

Insurance company Aflac says it will boost U.S. investments by $250 million and increase 401(k) benefits for employees, including a one-time contribution of $500 to every worker’s retirement savings account

Associated Bank announced a $500 bonus for  nearly all employees and an increase in its minimum wage from $10 per hour to $15 per hour, and PNC Bank is giving a $1,000 bonus to 47,500 workers and a $1,500 boost to workers’ existing pension accounts.

Southwest Airlines announced a $1,000 cash bonus for all employees, including part-timers, plus $5 million in charitable donations.

President Donald Trump, who made passing tax reform a top goal of his first year in office and signed the bill into law Dec. 22, has praised businesses for their positive response.

Republicans’ tax reform package maintains the current seven tax brackets but lowers rates to 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35, and 37 percent.

The package caps at $10,000 the state and local tax deduction, which allows taxpayers who itemize instead of taking the standard deduction to deduct from federal taxable income any property and income taxes paid to state or local governments.

The package repeals Obamacare’s mandate for individuals to buy health insurance, increases the $1,000 child tax credit to $2,000, and provides a $500 credit for child dependents who aren’t minors.

The legislation reduces the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax.

Hours after Congress passed the legislation, AT&T announced it would give a $1,000 bonus to over 200,000 U.S. employees and invest $1 billion in the economy and Boeing announced a $300 million investment, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

>>> Companies Announce Bonuses, Raises Following Tax Reform Legislation Passage

CVS announced it would hire 3,000 new workers and FedEx said it would increase hiring.

Adam Michel, policy analyst for economic studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email Wednesday that such announcements are just the beginning.

“Raises, bonuses, and new investments spurred by tax reform show that the Republicans’ tax reform is working how they said it would,” Michel said, adding:

Businesses across America are putting their tax cuts to work for the American people. This first wave of stories is great news, but the real benefits are yet to come. Tax reform expands the economic pie so that more Americans will be better off.

As businesses and their competitors continue to increase investment in the U.S., workers’ yearly wages will also go up and underemployed households will see the biggest benefits from new jobs.

Below is the list of the groups and businesses included in the email from Ryan’s office. The full list may be viewed here.

Aflac: $250 million boost in U.S. investments and increased 401(k) benefits, including one-time contribution of $500 to every employee’s retirement savings account.

American Savings Bank: $1,000 bonus to 1,150 employees, nearly the entire workforce, and increase of minimum wage from $12.21 an hour to $15.15.

Aquesta Financial Holdings: $1,000 bonus to all employees, increase in minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Associated Bank: $500 bonus to nearly all employees and increased minimum wage to $15 per hour, up from $10.

AT&T: $1,000 bonus to all 200,000 U.S. workers and $1 billion boost in U.S. investments.

Bank of America: $1,000 bonus for about 145,000 U.S. employees.

Bank of Hawaii: $1,000 bonus for 2,074 employees, or 95 percent of its workforce, and increase of minimum wage from $12 to $15.

BB&T Corp.: $1,200 bonus for almost three-fourths of associates, or 27,000 employees, and increase in minimum wage from $12 to $15.

Boeing: $300 million boost in investments to employee gift-match programs, workforce development, and workplace improvements.

Central Pacific Bank: $1,000 bonus to all 850 nonexecutive employees and increase in minimum wage from $12 to $15.25.

Comcast NBCUniversal: $1,000 bonus for more than 100,000 employees.

Deleware Supermarkets Inc.: $150 bonus to 1,000 nonmanagement employees and $150,000 in new investment in employee training and development programs.

Express Employment Prc: $2,000 bonus to all nonexecutive employees at Oklahoma City headquarters.

Fifth Third Bancorp: $1,000 bonus for all 13,500 employees and increase of minimum wage to $15 for nearly 3,000 workers.

First Hawaiian Bank: $1,500 bonus for all 2,264 employees and increase in minimum wage to $15.

First Horizon National Corp.: $1,000 bonus to employees who do not participate in company-sponsored bonus plans.

Kansas City Southern: $1,000 bonus to employees of subsidiaries in the U.S. and Mexico.

Melaleuca: $100 bonus for every year an employee has worked for the company—an average of $800 for each of 2,000 workers.

National Bank Holdings Corp.: $1,000 bonus to all noncommissioned associates who earn a base salary under $50,000.

Nelnet: $1,000 bonus for nearly all of 4,100 employees.

Nephron Parmaceuticals: wage increase of 5 percent for its 640 employees.

Nexus: wage increase of 5 percent and plans to hire 200 workers in 2018.

OceanFirst Bank: increase in minimum wage from $13.60 to $15, affecting at least 166 employees.

PNC Bank: $1,000 bonus to 47,500 employees and $1,500 increase to existing pension accounts.

Pinnacle Bank: $1,000 bonus for all full-time employees in Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.

Pioneer Credit Recovery: $1,000 bonus to employees.

Rush Enterprises Inc.: $1,000 discretionary bonus to 6,600 U.S. employees.

Sinclair Broadcast: $1,000 bonus to nearly 9,000 employees.

SunTrust: increase of minimum wage to $15, $50 million increase in community grants, 1 percent percent 401(k) contribution for all employees.

Turning Point Brands, Inc.: $1,000 bonus to 107 employees.

Washington Federal, Inc.: wage increase of 5 percent for employees earning less than $100,000 per year and increased investments in technology infrastructure and community projects.

Wells Fargo: increase in minimum wage from $13.50 to $15, and higher charitable giving by about 40 percent, to $400 million.

Western Alliance: wage increase of 7.5 percent for the lowest-paid 50 percent of employees.

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