CEOs Pocket Big Allowances on Top of Fat Salaries - USATODAY.com
Your kid probably gets an allowance. Should CEOs?
Many do — on top of multimillion-dollar compensation packages. A USA TODAY analysis of corporate filings finds dozens of CEOs and senior-level execs pocketing up to $84,000 a year — 70% higher than the median U.S. household income of $49,455.
Some companies say cash allowances are easier to administer than specific payments for company-provided perks, such as cars. At other companies, executive allowances are part of compensation packages that include perks ranging from private use of corporate aircraft to tax assistance.
The allowances are a little-known but longstanding sweetener to executive pay packages expected to hit records this year, bolstered by the economic recovery, a robust stock market and record corporate earnings. Governance experts say allowances should be terminated by all companies that offer them. “There’s no reason for it,” says Eleanor Bloxham of the Value Alliance. “Most of these people get enough to live on.”
Among companies doling out allowances:
•United Technologies. Senior execs get flexible allowances equal to 5% of base salaries. That’s worth $84,000 for CEO Louis Chênevert, who used $36,000 for a car lease. Chênevert’s 2011 compensation: $22.8 million, plus $7.4 million in stock and options gains.
•C.R. Bard. CEO Timothy Ring got $65,000, plus $8 million in compensation and $15.3 million from options and vested shares. Other execs got $40,000, including CFO Todd Schermerhorn, who exercised options worth $25.6 million. The medical products marketer says allowances offset costs for company cars, financial planning and other perks.