Results of the 2020 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey are available for purchase.

The NCEO has conducted compensation surveys of ESOP companies since 2005. Our 2020 survey received responses from 424 ESOP companies. The survey report includes detailed compensation data for eight top executive positions, including base, incentive, stock-based, and deferred compensation.  Data is presented across multiple demographic categories including revenue, selected industries, employee count, and ESOP ownership percentage. It also reports information on how COVID-19 is affecting compensation. 

Sample compensation tables from the report are available here.

Please contact Research Director Nancy Wiefek at nwiefek@nceo.org for any questions or assistance.

Survey Details

This survey, conducted between September and November 2020, collected a total of 424 responses from a diverse group of ESOP companies (the largest in the survey's history). The survey gathered compensation data for each of the following eight executive positions:

  • CEO or president
  • CFO or top financial executive
  • COO
  • Chief information officer
  • Top divisional vice president
  • Top human resources or personnel professional
  • Top sales or marketing executive
  • Vice president of services/region/geographic area

Contents of the Survey Report

The report includes:

  • Descriptive demographic information about the respondents
  • Tables of compensation at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles for each of eight executive positions, separated by base pay, cash incentives, stock-based compensation, and total pay
  • Contributions to executives' individual ESOP accounts and other retirement plan accounts, by percentile
  • Total company ESOP contributions as a percentage of eligible payroll

This information is presented for both the overall survey sample and as breakouts for each of the following company characteristics:

  • Revenue
  • Number of employees
  • Percent ESOP ownership
  • Age of ESOP
  • S corporations and C corporations
  • Industry:
    • Construction
    • Manufacturing
    • Professional, scientific, and technical services

The report also contains data on COVID-19's effects on executive compensation, including executive pay reductions, freezes, and changes to bonus and LTIP compensation.

What Users Are Saying

"This report gives us information that we've needed but found very difficult and expensive to acquire in the past. This is a great service."
— Robert H. Carlson (CEO Emeritus and board member, Reell Precision Manufacturing)

"Not only did we get data on executive compensation in ESOP companies, we were also able to look at compensation levels for companies in our size range and industry type. I was impressed with the amount of data, the different executive positions it covered, and the quick turnaround--I would recommend this to any ESOP company."
— Cindy Turcot (President, Gardener's Supply Company)

Terms of Use

By purchasing the NCEO's ESOP Executive Compensation Survey report, you are agreeing to following terms of use:

  • Companies may share the report with anyone at the company, including outside board members and consultants, but may not circulate it outside the company.
  • Companies sharing the report with outside board members and consultants must specify that its use is limited to the company, and must acknowledge the NCEO as the source. 
  • ESOP service providers and other service providers or consultants may use this report to advise clients, as long as they acknowledge the NCEO as the source and make clear that it should not be circulated outside the client's company.