Benefits

Companies Dropping Executive Perks

By Michelle Rafter

Aug. 21, 2014

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

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.

Michelle Rafter is a Workforce contributing editor.

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