Retirement Benefits Grow For CEOs

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    S&P 500 firms last year funded an average $1.3 million to their CEO retirement benefits, compared to $467,000 in 2013, a 10.6 per cent one-year increase, says research from the Conference Board. Among larger firms (with market capitalization of $5 billion or greater), the rise in 2014 mostly resulted from decisions by many organizations to revise their calculations for CEO pension contributions. Key factors that prompted these changes include lower discount rates and longer life expectancy, as reflected in updated mortality tables from the Society of Actuaries. The median total compensation of CEOs of U.S. public companies in the Russell 3000 index soared 11.9 per cent in 2014 over the previous year and as much as 34.7 per cent over 2010. For these companies, equity awards (excluding stock options) represent 34.7 per cent of the total value of the CEO pay package, and the median grant-date value of stock awards grew about 25 per cent in 2014 due to market increases.