Corporate Compensation Strategies Survey Finds a Geographical Shift to the Midwest Region for Life Insurance Employees

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Year-Over-Year Average Base Salaries Increased by 2.4% for the Life Insurance Industry as Bonus Plans Continue to Play an Important Role for Employees.

Smaller life insurance companies are paying more for their employees due to a generally accepted rate-of-pay for specific professions regardless of size. In order to attract the best talent, smaller companies pay a similar competitive rate up to the Senior Manager / Director level (those under $200K in base).

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A new compensation survey from Corporate Compensation Strategies, "2008 Life Insurance Survey Group Compensation Survey" (LSG Survey), finds the Midwest Region is now the center of the Life Insurance Industry with approximately 35% of the employee population centered around the Great Lakes. The survey, conducted by Corporate Compensation Strategies in Wilton, Connecticut, included compensation information on 40 of the largest Life Insurance companies in the United States with assets averaging $75 billion.

While 2007 average base salaries increased by 2.4% for the Life Insurance Industry, surprisingly, the survey found that company size no longer correlates with pay for positions below the executive level. Companies with assets less than $75B are just as likely to compensate the same, if not more, as the companies with assets well over $75B for the same job.

But, in 2007, bonuses for larger companies were still 9.8% higher than those given to employees at smaller companies, although a decrease from 19.5% higher in 2006. In 2007, total cash compensation for smaller companies was 2% lower than larger companies, while in 2006 they were 4% lower.

"It appears the traditional pay gap of larger companies paying more for their employees then smaller companies is no longer quite as pronounced," said Ron Contino, a Principal at Corporate Compensation Strategies. "Smaller life insurance companies are paying more for their employees due to a generally accepted rate-of-pay for specific professions regardless of size. In order to attract the best talent, smaller companies pay a similar competitive rate up to the Senior Manager / Director level (those under $200K in base)." Contino concludes.

Bonus plans continue to play an important role in employee compensation in 2007, as 83% of 46,100 employees surveyed were eligible for bonuses in the Life Insurance Industry, of which 92% actually received a bonus. For bonuses, there is a near perfect correlation between size of salary and size of bonus for those making between $25K and $200K in salary, consider:

  •     For employees with bonus eligibility making more than $40K, they have over a 90% a chance of receiving a bonus, and are more likely to receive a higher bonus then their target amount.
  •     For employees making under $40K, they are significantly more likely to receive a bonus less then their target amount.
  •     For the highest paid employees making over $200K, they typically receive an award above normal predictions, generally more than double the amount received by those in the $150 - $200K salary range.

About Corporate Compensation Strategies, LLC

Corporate Compensation Strategies (CCS) is a Connecticut-based compensation consulting firm dedicated to providing accurate and timely compensation information and providing context to base, incentive and executive compensation. The firm supplies critical compensation support by utilizing their extensive library of survey information, offering clients the most comprehensive compensation information available. You can find additional information on the LSG Survey website at http://www.ccstrategies.com.

The "2008 Life Survey Group Compensation Survey" is available to participants only. Participant requirements include a minimum $10B in assets. Please contact Ron Contino at 203-762-2771 for information on participating in the survey.

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Ron Contino
Corporate Compensation Strategies, LLC
203-762-2771
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