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MADISON, Wis. – A recent CUES, CUNA Mutual teleconference The Overlooked Strategic Tool Trends in Executive Compensation finds that when it comes to recruiting CEOs, credit unions still need to do more. According to a CUES Executive Compensation Survey although there has been a very steady rise in CEO total cash compensation (8.1% in 2002), bonus percentages have remained relatively flat at 12% since 1995. “In the next few years 25% of credit union CEOs will retire -that is 4,500 people,” said CUNA Mutual Group Assistant Vice President of Executive Benefits Gene Zumwalt. “While the need for these leaders increases, the CEO talent pool is limited and credit unions are competing with `for profit’ organizations for the same group of people.” According to Zumwalt, there is more executive retirement anxiety as executives need a pre-retirement income replacement of around 60-70% -yet 401(k) plans and social security combined will replace only 35% or less of that income. Zumwalt advises credit unions to design packages that will overcome typical benefit shortfalls, lock in critical executives, assist with succession planning, motivate executives and attract qualified candidates. Credit unions can leverage these packages to find the best talent. He says that packages should include the following: * 457(b) arrangements where CEOs can defer their own compensation, * 457(f) money set aside by the credit union for executives with a “risk of forfeiture”, * Option programs structured using another form of property such as mutual funds that allow both the credit union to set aside money and the CEO to forego compensation. “The key is to mix and match and design a package that meets the objective of the credit union and executives,” said Zumwalt.

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