A report by the High Pay Centre has found that FTSE CEOs are paid an average of £4.964 million per annum.

This represents a slight increase on CEO pay of £4.923 million in 2013 but a more dramatic rise from the £4.129 million average in 2010. They are paid approximately 183 times what the average UK worker earns.

The research also found that:

  • The top 10 highest-paid CEOs alone were paid over £156 million between them.
  • Median CEO pay in 2014 was slightly lower at £3.873 million, a fall from £4.109 million in 2013, but up from £3.558 million in 2010, suggesting that the increases in average pay are driven by pay increases for a small number of CEOs at the top.
  • Despite average annual CEO pay of nearly £5 million, only a quarter of FTSE 100 companies are living wage accredited for paying the living wage to all their UK-based staff.
  • Average FTSE 100 CEO pay in 2014 was 183 times the earnings of the average full-time UK worker, up from 182 times in 2013 and 160 times in 2010.

Although shareholders have the power to voice their opposition to executive pay policy at company AGMs, the report points out that the average vote against pay awards across the FTSE 100 in 2014 was just 6.4 per cent. A majority of shareholders in only two FTSE 100 companies voted against the remuneration report in the advisory vote on pay in 2014. There has not yet been a majority shareholder vote against remuneration policy at a FTSE 100 company in the binding vote.

In order to calculate the figures, the High Pay Centre analysed data disclosed in companies’ annual reports as a result of requirements introduced by the coalition government under the 2013 Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act. Under the Act, companies have to publish a “single figure” plus historic comparisons for CEO pay in their annual reports. The High Pay Centre analysed these figures to calculate averages for 2014, 2013 and 2010.

Neil Todd of Thompsons Solicitors commented… “It is astonishing that only a quarter of FTSE 100 companies are living wage accredited when they have such significant financial resources at their disposal that enable them to pay such eye-watering salaries to those at the top. It would be interesting to know if those CEOs considered their contribution to the business to be worth 183 times the contribution of the average worker. This seems at best unlikely”.

To read the report, go to: http://highpaycentre.org/files/The_Pay_Today_draft.pdf