Exec Comp Far Outpaces Revenues over Last Year

February 15, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - An 11-year study of executive compensation released by ERI Economic Research Institute and Career Journal, the Wall Street Journal Online's free career channel for executives, managers, and professionals found that during the most recent 12 months, revenues of U.S. publicly-traded companies increased 2.8% while executive compensation increased 20.5%.

According to a press release on the study, as of February 2008, the average top executive received overall total compensation of $18,813,697 – $1,262,888 of which was pension benefits.

The study showed a change in the makeup of executive compensation packages. In 1997, 42.5% of total compensation was from stock options, compared to 26.3% in 2008, the release said. Meanwhile, restricted stock awards – which accounted for 10.2% of total executive compensation in 1997 – now accounts for 29.5%. Salaries contribute 9.5% of executives’ total comp, and pensions account for 6.9%.

The Compensation Indices used in the study reflect data from a representative group of 45 publicly-traded companies randomly selected from the approximately 6,500 companies that report compensation data to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The February 2008 index was adjusted to reflect merger activity which has occurred since the inception of the index.

To view the complete report on the February 2008 Executive Compensation Index, go to www.erieri.com and click on News Room at the bottom of the page.