Base salaries continued to rise and male CEOs made substantially more than female CEOs, according to the ninth annual survey from Executive Compensation Solutions in Covina, Calif.
The average base salary for all credit union CEOs increased in 2012 by an average of 6.62% from 6.54% last year, according to ECS’ 200-page report.
The average base salary for a CEO at credit unions with $50 million and below in assets is $84,117, while the average base salary for CEOs at credit unions with more than $2 billion in assets is $441,473.
The survey also found the credit union CEO total cash compensation – the base salary plus the annual discretionary bonus and/or annual performance-based incentive compensation – held fairly level across most credit union asset groups.
Nevertheless, the average CEO total cash compensation still dropped overall to $215,879 in 2012 from $228,178 in 2011. The average total cash compensation for a bank CEO totaled $317,835, according to the ECS survey.
What’s more, when CEO salaries and total cash compensation were evaluated by gender, the survey found male CEOs make 20% more in base salary and 22% more in total cash compensation than female CEOs.
The year’s survey also showed a continuation of a trend toward objective measurements for determining short-term incentives or bonuses for CEOs. For the third year in a row, loan growth remained the leading performance factor evaluated by credit union boards of directors when measuring performance goals of CEOs. Return on assets, delinquency measures, net income growth and membership growth were ranked, second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
The survey also looked at other components of executive compensation such as long-term deferred compensation (three years or more), core benefit offerings, pay-related benefits, additional ancillary and fringe benefits, retirement programs and additional compensation components.
The ECS survey said these compensation components are also important because they can help retain talented CEOs as well as other key executives who create value for the credit union.
“The 2012 survey continues to indicate an increased awareness of a need for an integrated compensation and benefits strategy, as well as a stronger correlation between pay and performance,” the report said.
“These trends are manifesting themselves in more objective, articulated criteria for performance pay with an increased interest in pay-for-performance programs that can provide incentives to the executive prior to retirement,” it said.
ECS said it produces the annual survey to provide credit union boards of directors and management teams with comparative information that can be used to evaluate and manage their key employee compensation policies and programs.
In June, ECS mailed a survey questionnaire to more than 2,000 credit unions. The surveys were received by CEOs, CFO and HR professionals. By September 2012, 282 credit unions responded to the survey.
A free copy of the survey is available at the ECS website.