Although executive perks are declining overall, one of the more common perks offered to executives is financial planning services. Indeed, about 29% of companies in the S&P 500 provided some form of financial planning perk to executives last year, according to Main Data Group.
While the cleanest way for the board to set financial planning perks is to treat all NEOs the same, this is unusual, since financial planning is rarely one-size-fits-all, said Deb Lifshey, managing director at Pearl Meyer. Due to legacy agreements, executives’ living in different jurisdictions, and various sign-on agreements, the size of financial planning perks can vary substantially between NEOs at the same company, she said.
Executives at a company may receive an allowance which can be spent on qualified expenditures including legal, financial, or tax counseling. Those credits can go toward a range of benefit plans including medical insurance, additional life insurance, and others. Unused credits may also be used to receive cash.
Indeed, business allowances don’t always need to go toward financial planning, according to Lifshey. “Basically, it’s just an extra salary,” she said, adding that they act as “a way to shroud perks that are disfavored in the public eye.”