Pay Plans Still Sluggish

CUs are exercising post-recession caution with compensation.

August 8, 2011

CUNA is releasing a number of salary surveys designed to help you keep up with credit union compensation trends for all credit union employees from tellers to CEOs.

Our most comprehensive report—the 2011-2012 Complete Credit Union Staff Salary Survey—paints a picture of credit unions continuing to exercise caution with their compensation strategies (“Compensation Caution,” p. 30). Since the recession began in earnest in 2008, more that 40% of credit unions have frozen some or all of their employees’ salaries, and that freeze is expected to continue into 2012.

If credit unions are raising salaries, the raises are small—just over 2% for management and nonmanagement employees. Before the recession, it wasn’t uncommon to have about 95% of credit unions planning salary increases in any given year. Now, that number has dropped to about 75%.

Later this month, CUNA will release its CEO Total Compensation Survey. It will show some of the same recession-induced trends, with CEO base salaries increasing about 3% from 2010 to 2011. One-quarter (26%) of CEOs didn’t receive a pay raise in 2010, which is down from 31% in 2009.

About 60% of credit unions have CEO succession plans in place, and another 13% plan to do so by year-end 2011. And many of those credit unions will get a chance to put those succession plans into action, as 21% of CEOs plan to retire in the next five years. About 8% of credit union CEOs are age 65 or older, 20% are age 60 to 64, 24% are 55 to 59, and the remainder are age 55 or younger.

The CEO Compensation Survey also drills down into bonuses, incentives, benefits, retirement plans, and employment contracts.

And in September, CUNA will release its Senior Executive Compensation Survey. You can find out more about all these salary surveys, and the Complete Guide to Setting Salaries, at