Fat cats' pension payments provoke shareholder revolt

Huge pension payments to executives could trigger a wave of shareholder protests at some of Britain’s biggest companies this year.

Huge pension payments to executives could trigger a wave of shareholder protests at some of Britain's biggest companies this year, amid mounting anger over the generosity of contributions made on behalf of directors.

The Investment Association, which represents many of Britain's biggest institutional investors, has written to the 350 largest publicly owned companies in the UK warning that its members are keeping a close eye on pension awards made to executives. It warned that many companies could face revolts unless they can demonstrate a sensible alignment between the pension awards made to senior directors and their performance.

The warning follows changes to the UK's corporate governance code, which now insists that pension contribution rates for executives should be in line with those that apply

to the wider workforce. Investors partly prompted by wider anger at executive pay, and its apparent total lack of connection with shareholder returns are also increasingly concerned about new research from the High Pay Centre and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, showing some FTSE 100 CEOs enjoy pension contributions worth more than half their annual salary. The figure for the average worker at such businesses is more like a tenth of pay.

Recommended

Companies cut back on their pensions bills
Personal finance

Companies cut back on their pensions bills

Britvic is the latest firm hoping a cheaper inflation index will cut pension costs. David Prosser reports.
28 Aug 2019
The drawbacks of pension drawdown
Pensions

The drawbacks of pension drawdown

Income drawdown – tapping your pension savings for income – can be risky, says David Prosser. Here's what to watch out for.
11 Aug 2020
Covid-19 sees a surge in early retirement
Pensions

Covid-19 sees a surge in early retirement

The number of people taking early retirement has risen by more than ever before, says the ONS – in part because of problems in the labour market cause…
7 Aug 2020
We're all going to have to be a lot more flexible
UK Economy

We're all going to have to be a lot more flexible

As the world gets older, we'll all have to retire later and finance it for longer. That's going to take a major rethink about an awful lot of things, …
6 Aug 2020

Most Popular

No, the UK did not “plunge” into recession yesterday
UK Economy

No, the UK did not “plunge” into recession yesterday

That the economy took a massive hit due to Covid-19 should be news to no one, says John Stepek. The real question is what happens now.
13 Aug 2020
Inflation spiked in the US last month – is this the shape of things to come?
US Economy

Inflation spiked in the US last month – is this the shape of things to come?

Prices in the US rose much more dramatically than expected in July. Can we expect more of the same, and what does that mean for your money? John Stepe…
14 Aug 2020
The MoneyWeek Podcast: house prices, staycations, and the death of cash
House prices

The MoneyWeek Podcast: house prices, staycations, and the death of cash

John and Merryn talk about the rise in UK house prices and the fact that everybody is holidaying in the UK, plus gold's new highs, the death of cash, …
12 Aug 2020