Signs of a thaw
Similar to national trends, CUNA’s salary survey found signs of modest overall wage improvements among credit unions in the past year. In 2011, 79% of credit unions with $1 million or more in assets gave salary/wage increases to at least some of their full-time employees.
The 79% represents a gradual improvement over previous years (77% in 2009 and 73% in 2010) but well below the 92% in 2008. And 79% of credit unions expect to provide salary/wage increases in 2012.
Wage freezes appear to be thawing. In 2011, 38% of credit unions initiated a wage freeze for at least some of their full-time employees.
THE POWER OF VARIABLE PAY
Variable pay (incentives and/or bonuses) continues to be a popular way to reward employees without increasing fixed costs. And bonuses (after-the-fact rewards for a job well done) continue to be the most common form of variable pay among credit unions.
Half of credit unions with $1 million or more in assets offer bonuses to their full-time employees, according to CUNA’s 2012-2013 Complete Credit Union Staff Salary Survey.
Credit unions are more likely to offer bonuses to managers than to nonmanagement staff. About 52% offer bonuses to management employees, while 42% offer them to nonmanagement employees. These percentages have increased from 47% and 38%, respectively, from last year’s survey.
About 30% of credit unions offer incentive payments (awards tied to preset performance criteria) to their full-time employees. Credit unions are equally likely to offer incentive payments to management and nonmanagement employees.
As credit union asset size increases, so does the prevalence of incentive payments. Half of credit unions with $20 million to $50 million in assets offer incentives to their full-time employees. This percentage increases to 66% among those with assets of $100 million to $200 million.
More than 70% of credit unions with $200 million or more in assets offer incentives to their full-time employees.
That’s significantly below the 45% of credit unions freezing wages in 2009 and 2010. An even smaller percentage (32%) of credit unions plan to freeze wages in 2012. And only 10% of credit unions with $200 million or more in assets expect to freeze some of their employees’ wages this year.
New names on the payroll
While credit unions remain hesitant to increase fixed expenses by adding to their payrolls, they are hiring. Approximately 20% of credit unions with $1 million or more in assets plan to add full- and/or part-time staff in 2012, similar to the percentage in 2011.
Hiring plans typically increase with the size of the credit union.
A much higher percentage of credit unions with $200 million or more in assets plan to add full-time staff in 2011 than their smaller counterparts. About 50% of credit unions with $100 million to $200 million in assets plan to hire full-time employees.
This percentage increases to 58% among those with assets of $200 million to $500 million, and to between 70% and 80% among those with assets of $500 million or more.
Only 4% of credit unions plan to reduce the number of full-time and/or part-time employees this year.
NEXT: Universal employees