CEO Compensation Decline Due To Reduction In Variable Pay

Mark Wolff – CUNA Communications; (202) 508-6764;
Bonnie Bailey – CUNA Marketing; (608) 231-4215;


Credit union CEO total compensation declined 3.5% in 2009, and that decline can be traced to a reduction in variable pay, says a new CUNA report.

Overall, 59% of CEOs of credit unions with $100 million or more in assets received a bonus and/or incentive reward in 2009, down from 73% in 2008, according to the 2010-2011 CEO Total Compensation Survey Report. The median amount awarded in 2009 is $16,345, down 37% from $26,000 in 2008.

“Because credit unions cannot offer the equity vehicles which make up the bulk of compensation packages for CEOs of publicly traded companies, base salary comprises the largest portion of the total compensation package for credit union CEOs. Therefore, credit unions have historically used variable pay plans to reward performance and boost credit union CEO compensation levels,” said Beth Soltis, senior research analyst for CUNA.

“In fact, if CEOs are eligible for variable pay but don’t receive payouts and perceive the cause to be external market factors they cannot control, the result can be diminished motivation and a greater likelihood for them to seek opportunities elsewhere. As business performance improves, credit unions will need to evaluate their variable pay plans – and their ability to provide payouts – in order to reward and retain their CEOs.”

The survey provides nationwide CEO compensation data for credit unions $100 million plus in assets. Results are conveniently categorized by asset size, region, and many other points of comparison to help credit unions attract or retain top CEO talent. The report—available in print or Adobe PDF format—also assigns a monetary value of the total compensation package to help measure the bottom-line value of a CEO compensation package to other credit unions.

Purchasers of the survey report may also receive a discount on the CEO Total Compensation: Self-Selected Peer Analysis. This customized analysis reveals CEO salaries, health plans, contract terms, bonuses, retirement plans, and more for 10 or more specific credit unions that meet a credit union’s own peer criteria. Each report is presentation ready.

CUNA’s 2010-2011 CEO Total Compensation Survey Report sells to credit unions for $799 for the print version or $749 for the PDF. For more information or to order online, visit To order by phone, call (800) 356-8010, press 3, and reference stock number 29448 (print) or 29448P (PDF).


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