I work for a Big 4 firm and the annual review period occurs once each year, just prior to the end of the fiscal year. Our ratings are based on relative performance (sort of like grading on a curve) and are determined by committees, with each person having a coach that advocates for you. The committee reviews the performance notes/appraisals that have been written by managers you worked with over the course of the year and evaluates you accordingly.
We are notified of our rating and whether we are getting a promotion or not about 2 weeks before the end of the year. Just after the first of the new fiscal year we are told what our compensation will be (salary + bonus), with salary taking effect immediately and bonuses paid out three months later.
The individual person has no lobbying power as to whether or not he/she will get a promotion, what kind of raise (if any) will be given and whether a bonus will be handed out. These details are hashed out by the committee and then set in stone. The pay has already taken effect before the individual has a conversation with his/her boss. Compensation is restricted by staff level, so there is a particular band for each level depending on the region and a person cannot be paid outside that band.
My question is this: is it normal in a big company (or any company) to not have any say or negotiating power over compensation or promotion? Since it's not possible to negotiate anything, I feel quite powerless. What can be done in a situation like this?