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Companies Dropping Executive Perks

Fewer C-suite managers get luxuries like use of corporate jets because of shareholder pressure, rising costs.

August 21, 2014
Related Topics: Perquisites, Benefit Design and Communication, The Latest, Benefits
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Exec perks August 2014

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Companies may be pouring on employee perks, but they’re tightening up on extras they offer executives.

The number of companies that allot VIPs three or more executive-level perks dropped almost in half in recent years, to 33 percent in 2013, from 60 percent in 2008, according to a July 2013 Towers Watson & Co. survey of 332 companies on the Fortune 500 list.

More companies are doing away with executive-only perks. In 2008, 6 percent of Fortune 500 companies offered no executive-level perks; by 2013, that number had grown to 15 percent, according to the Towers Watson report.

Part of the reason is shareholder pressure to reign in expensive executive perks. So-called “Say on Pay” laws passed after the recession gave shareholders power to approve or veto executive compensation policies.

Among the perks with the sharpest declines: company-paid supplemental life insurance, club dues and use of corporate planes or company cars. Another reason for the drop-off is cost. The median value of using corporate aircraft annually hit $125,473 last year, up from $92,596 in 2008, according to the report.

Despite the declines, more companies are reimbursing for C-suite managers’ annual physicals, up to 32 percent in 2013, according to the report.

Michelle V. Rafter is a Workforce contributing editor. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com. Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

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