Restraint shown in setting executive remuneration

Employers are beginning to show some restraint with executive remuneration packages, but this may not be a long-term trend.

Research published in May and June showed bonuses have fallen for FTSE 100 executive directors and pay freezes are on the increase.

Fit Remuneration Consultants’ FTSE 100 executive remuneration survey, published in May, found that 32% of FTSE 100 employers will not increase salaries this year, up from 27% that took the same action last year. Bonus payouts have also fallen to 69% from 77% a year ago.

Rob Burdett, a partner at Fit Remuneration Consultants, said: “It’s evidence of the direction that remuneration committees are going in, in ensuring remuneration packages are appropriate and acceptable to shareholders, and take due account of organisation-specific issues and wider economic issues.”

But Cliff Weight, director at remuneration adviser MM&K, said that although large employers are paying less in terms of cash bonuses, the long-term trend is still towards an increase in remuneration.

This was reflected in Manifest and MM&K’s Executive director total remuneration survey 2013, published in June, which found that FTSE 100 chief executives were collectively paid £425 million in 2012, a rise of £45 million on 2011.

Weight added: “The long-term trend is that pay is still increasing and the amounts realised are still going up, possibly because targets are being set to be easier.”