Wall Street employees, whose paychecks have often been cut in recent years, are likely to get a slight bump in their bonuses this year. The catch: the increase will come on top of one of the worst years for bank pay in recent memory.

Year-end incentives, which include cash bonuses and stock awards, will be flat to up to 10 percent higher when compared with last year, according to a closely watched compensation survey to be released on Monday. But firms drastically cut costs, employment and, as a result, pay, in 2011.

“It has been a slow recovery, just like the economy,” said Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates, the privately held firm that conducted the survey. “Following a year when year-end incentives declined by as much as 30 percent, the fact that many firms are able to keep this year’s bonuses flat or slightly larger is notable.”

CNBC / November 4, 2012