Poll: Executive bonuses varied in 2016, need for say-on-pay questioned

Dive Brief:

  • A Willis Towers Watson poll finds that senior executives’ bonuses for 2016 showed wide variations. The global advisory and solutions firm polled 260 corporate executives and compensation specialists on Dec. 8. The firm cites stark differences in executive performance as the reason for disparities in bonuses.
  • The results show that 36% of companies polled expect annual bonuses for 2016 performance to exceed 110% of the target goal. Nearly the same number, 35%, expect to pay bonuses of 90% of the target, while 29% anticipate paying bonuses close to the target.
  • Andrew Goldstein, leader of the Executive Compensation practice in North America, Willis Towers Watson, said a surprising result from the poll was the significant number of companies that expected to pay bonuses above the target, given the moderate growth in earnings ​and revenue in many industries.

Dive Insight:

Federal proxy rules under Dodd-Frank regulations require public companies to give shareholders an advisory vote on executive pay, known as the say-on-pay vote. Willis Towers Watson says a repeal of the law under a Trump administration could bring about changes. The question is will say-on-pay still be necessary if the law is repealed?

Executive bonuses have been garnering attention as of late thanks to the SEC pay ratio rule.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will not challenge the pay-ratio rules, at least not yet — going against many employer expectations.

Filed Under: Comp & Benefits