CEO salaries rising but bonuses shrink – survey

Two new surveys show CEOs are being paid less in bonuses but more in salary, while the gap in fees between the chairman and non-executive directors is increasing. 

New Zealand CEOs and managing directors are being paid more in salary but less in bonuses, a new survey reveals.

Strategic Pay's CEO and top executives survey of more than 3600 executives shows median annual base salaries have risen 9.87% to $315,000 in 2012, up from $286,689 in 2011.

Total remuneration was up 2.3% to $338,500.

However, incentives and bonuses paid to CEOs and MDs has fallen 58% to $65,664, or 12% of average base salary.

The survey also shows public sector CEOs are being paid more than last year, compared with their private sector counterparts.

In 2012, private sector CEOs were paid about 0.5% more in base salary than those in the public sector, whereas in 2011 private sector executives earned 8% more.

Fifty-eight percent of organisations surveyed were from the private sector and 42% were from the public sector.

A second Strategic Pay survey on directors' fees shows the gap in fees between the chairman and non-executive directors is increasing.

In 2012, the median base annual fee paid to a non-executive chairman was $65,000, up 3.8% from $62,606 in 2011.

Non-executive directors were paid a median of $33,600 in 2012, down 4% from $35,000 in 2011, reversing an average median increase of 4.3% over the past three years.

Chairmen of publicly listed companies were paid a median 36% more than those in unlisted private sector companies.

The directors' fees survey analysed data from over 2100 individual directorships, as well as the fee levels of 249 non-executive chairmen and more than 1400 directorships. 

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