With the economy continuing its slow but steady recovery, credit unions have scaled back variable pay programs for branch management positions while increasing base salaries, CUNA’s 2014-2015 Staff Salary Report reveals.
The shift reflects improvements in the economy, according to Jon Haller, CUNA’s director of corporate and market research.
“The decline in variable pay signals a correction from the Great Recession-era practice of expanding the pool of employees eligible for these rewards, to focus on driving revenues during a challenging economy,” Haller says. “More branch management employees were eligible for incentives and bonuses then, but credit unions also raised the standards for achieving these rewards.”
The percentage of credit unions offering branch management employees incentives—awards tied to preset job criteria— declined across the board in 2013 compared with a year earlier. The survey indicates declines of 19% to 36%, depending on job title.
The percentage of these employees eligible for bonuses (after-the-fact rewards for a job well done) dropped 9% for less-experienced assistant branch managers, 46% for experienced assistant branch managers, and 20% for less-experienced branch managers. Eligibility among branch operations vice presidents and experienced branch managers increased 14% and 8%, respectively.
Meanwhile, base salaries improved between 3.2% and 4.8% for all branch managers, but fell 6.4% for branch operations vice presidents—which might be a one-year anomaly, according to Haller. Experienced branch managers earn a median salary of $62,000 in 2014, according to the report.