Tags: CEO | Hefty | Allowances | salaries

USA Today: CEOs Take Home Hefty Allowances on Top of Salaries

Thursday, 15 March 2012 10:17 AM

On top of taking home multimillion-dollar salaries, many CEOs pocket hefty allowances that surpass the total take-home pay of most Americans, as a USA Today study finds.

Dozens of CEOs and senior-level execs took home allowances of up $84,000 a year — 70 percent higher than the median U.S. household income of $49,455, USA Today reports.

Some companies justify allowances as payments that are easier to manage in one lump sum as opposed to handing may traditional perks like car payments.

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At United Technologies, for example, senior executives take home allowances equal to 5 percent of base salaries

At American Express, CEO Ken Chenault and other execs earn $35,000 in allowance, while at Jack in the Box, CEO Linda Lang gets $66,500 a year.

"There's no reason for it,'' says Eleanor Bloxham of the Value Alliance, USA Today adds. "Most of these people get enough to live on."

Robust corporate earnings and rising stock prices often push up overall executive compensation, and many see more gains ahead for big blue chip stocks as the U.S. economy improves, including Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin.

"There has been a slight loss of momentum, but I don’t think they have run entirely out of puff," Lenhoff tells CNBC.

"The refocusing in the developing world away from inflation to growth, and better U.S. performance, suggests to me that by the end of this year we are going to see the resumption of momentum."

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