Contributions Boost CUNA Execs' Pay

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Large one-time contributions to defined benefits plan helped raise compensation for CUNA's top officers in the double digits last year.

Documents obtained by The Credit Union Journal show that while CUNA President Dan Mica had a slight 1.25% reduction in his 2003 annual salary to $688,372, a doubling in benefits to $154,946, pushed his total compensation 8.5% higher in 2003 to $843,318. The benefits payments also boosted total compensation packages for Mica's top aide, Richard McBride, by 25% to $387,039; senior vice president Pete Crear by 33% to $475,135; general counsel Eric Richard by 21% to $361,967; and chief financial officer Mary Meixelsperger by 7% to $239,839.

Salaries for the top execs in 2003 were: McBride $274, 484 (+1.9%); Crear $297,051 (+1%); Richard $275,300 (+6%) and Meixelsperger $200,960 (+1%).

"The combination of an underperforming investment market and lower-than-expected interest rates, had a direct impact on the defined benefits plans for these officers," said CUNA in a released statement. "Overall, the level of benefits did not change from year to year. However, because of the low rates and laggard investment market over the previous three years (2000-02), CUNA had to make to make up the difference in 2003 to keep up with the defined plan's obligations. CUNA was not alone in this development; most companies with defined benefit plans were in the same situation."

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