December 15, 2020

2020 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey Results Now Available

The 2020 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey report is now available. Our thanks go out to our survey respondents, who took time out of a chaotic year to contribute compensation data. We received valid questionnaires from 424 ESOP companies, the largest response in the survey’s 15-year history. Respondents have been emailed a code to receive a 75% discount on purchase of the report.

The survey report includes summary compensation data as well as detailed breakouts by company size (revenue and employee count), industry, percent ESOP ownership, age of ESOP, and S/C corporation status. Download sample tables from the report here.

This year’s survey also included questions on COVID-19, asking about the pandemic’s effects on both executive compensation and overall business operations. Some findings:

  • Approximately 15% of respondents reduced executive base pay in 2020 in response to the pandemic.
  • 15% of respondents reduced 2020 bonus payments to executives, and another 8% eliminated bonus payments. A very small number (1%) reduced or eliminated long-term incentive pay grants.
  • Twenty percent are planning to forego base pay increases for executives in 2021.
  • Company revenue was not a strong predictor of executive pay changes.
  • A clear majority (79%) of respondents are “more optimistic than pessimistic” about the future of their business.

For any questions about the survey or the report, contact the NCEO research team at research@nceo.org.