CUES Podcast
CUES Podcast
Nov 12, 2020
CUES 105: CUES Compensation and Salary Data Facilitates Good Decision-Making—an Interview with Michael Becher and Laura Lynch
Play • 23 min

The pandemic came to the fore while CUES and Industry Insights were fielding this year’s compensation and salary surveys. But fortunately, great data was still collected that can form an excellent foundation for credit unions making decisions about executive compensation and staff salaries.

“It provides us a great base for moving forward, for understanding the true impact of COVID, says Michael Becher, vice president of Industry Insights, CUES' partner in producing CUES Executive Compensation Survey and the CUES Employee Salary Survey. “This data is very, very relevant” and can support decision-making about pay levels now and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Becher says the increases in pay for staff and executives highlighted by the CUES surveys are bigger than those reported across all industries in the U.S. WorldatWork has reported increases for staff and executives of 3% to 3.3% for the last few years. “CU increases have been more in the 5% to 8% range,” he adds. CUES Executive Compensation Survey reports increases on all of the 22 positions it covers, including increases in base salary, bonuses and total compensation.

“It shows the strength of the credit union and financial services industry,” Becher says, “ … and it’s just a nice thing if you’re in the credit union space.”

During the show, which is supported by a commercial from CUES Supplier member Harland Clarke, Becher also describes how the CUES survey has been looking at the pay situation for women since 2018. The survey finds that 47% of credit unions with less than a billion dollars in assets employ a female CEO compared with 39% of credit unions with more than a billion dollars in assets. Not surprisingly, the pay for CEOs at smaller credit unions is typically lower than the pay for CEOs at larger credit unions. 

Becher also says eight positions covered by the survey have a higher rate of women: HR executive, chief member solutions officer, marketing executive, retail branch executive, compliance exec, chief operations officer, regional branch management executive and chief operating officer.

 “We’re still pretty early in collecting this type of information,” Becher says. “We’re looking forward to continuing to collect this information.”

Laura Lynch, products and services manager at CUES, says in the show that the surveys provide important data to help credit unions see if they’re competitive with their peers. Only with the data can they choose to pay executives and employees at a particular level, whether that’s at market, above market or below market. 

“A lot that goes into compensation package and the data is an important part of that,” Lynch says. “We’ve been known for providing that competitive data for many years. 

“There are lots of tools where they can create that peer group,” she adds, referring to the reporting tools included with both surveys that allow credit unions to “slice and dice” the data to help them make decisions.

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