What are the Perks Received by Top CEOs?

Perks of Being CEO

Equilar, a data provider studying executive compensation and other corporate matters, recently published their annual findings on the extras and benefits received by CEO and other Fortune 1000 executives (meaning the top five highest paid executives in a company).

A year ago, Fortune reported on the top five CEOs of Fortune 100 companies and their personal use of company aircraft. That benefit is widely considered to be the top one offered to these leaders, but Equilar is quick to point out that reported personal aircraft usage has remained almost unchanged since 2012.

So we thought we’d share some of the current information on other common perks – and it should be noted that in 2011 stricter reporting guidelines were implemented, and since that happened, many benefits have been decreasing, though they have not become minimal in the least. Note – stock options and salaries are not part of this particular report.

Just so you know, the most current information shows that the median value of personal aircraft usage for the top execs translates to about $103,000 per year. Now let’s move to a few other top-dollar perks – listed in order of average annual value – most to least.

Tax bills are paid for about one-quarter of top executives on what are called “gross-ups.” Those are taxable items and expenditures the company offers their top people. Gross-ups are usually reimbursed rather than paid directly. These are generally worth more than the personal aircraft benefit and come in at a whopping average of $261,485 per year. Included in this category may be the taxes on cashed in stock options. But without naming any names, during fiscal 2015, one top dog got reimbursed approximately $6.3 million.

PR Car Wars

Next in line is the use of a car and personal driver. Execs can also be reimbursed for taxi’s and other on-the-job rides, but almost 50 percent of top leaders receive car benefits in some form, that may translate to a car for their personal use, a driving service, or their personal car and driver. The average value of this perk is over $18.5K per year though one top earner received auto and driver services worth ten times that amount for the year.

Housing is much less common of a perk, usually only granted to four percent of executives, the average value for those who do, hits approximately $63,000. However, this is NOT generally for their home, but for expenses while traveling on company business of staying in hotels and such. The personal part of the equation is probably attached to family or friends who may be traveling with them as their stay would be a legitimate business cost. Or this benefit may be an apartment near the office for those execs who live farther away, allowing them to work longer hours without having to travel back and forth.

Some of the other perks include:

Three percent of execs get “flex” benefits – usually where they get reimbursed for any number of personal expenses the company deems part of an acceptable cost – the average value for those receiving this one is over $23K. Matching charitable donations – fifteen percent of top executives at Fortune 100 companies have access to funds, usually as a match or double match of what the exec gives. This averages to $16K per year.

A personal bodyguard or other security measures are another perk received by up to one-third of the executives. The average on this one is about $10K, but at least one CEO netted $1.6 million in a year. Some of the other perks received include dividends on equity, severance packages, event tickets, and private club memberships. Also; don’t miss out on our editorial on which PR Firm has the best 401k programs.

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