NCUA Ranked 30th Among Highest Paid Federal Government Workers

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The National Credit Union Administration was ranked 30th in a new analysis of government agencies according to a number of employees earning a salary of more than $180,000 annually.

The analysis, conducted by USA Today, found more than 17,800 federal employees earn at least that much annually; NCUA has 20 such employees paid $180,000 or more. Leading the way was the Veterans Administration with 12,706 employees earning at least that amount (mostly doctors) and the SEC with 598 (mostly lawyers). The most comparable agency to NCUA the FDIC, appears twice in the USA Today analysis, with 232 employees earning $180,000 or more (general attorneys) and another 41 whose specific titles were not divulged.

None of the three NCUA board members earns more than $180,000.

As Credit Union Journal reported earlier, the most highly paid employees at NCUA are its five regional directors, who are paid an average $238,000 in annual salary. The average examiner earns approximately $88,000 annually, according to the agency.

Approximately 217 NCUA employees have actually seen a pay freeze in 2011 in response to a similar pay freeze for federal employees ordered by President Obama. Prior to the freeze, NCUA senior staff was to see pay increases of approximately 5% for 2011. But more than 890 NCUA staffers are seeing pay increases as a result of union contracts and pay increases built into the 2011 agency budget.

NCUA budgeted an increase of $24.5 million (approximately 12%) to increase its overall budget to $225 million for 2011. That included increases of as much as 8% for many employees, a move that was soundly criticized by the credit union trade associations, as credit unions pay NCUA's budget and the agency also increased that same budget in 2010 by 13%. Much of that budget increase has gone to hiring additional examiners.

Following the USA Today analysis, Chip Filson, president of Callahan & Associates, issued a statement saying, "The issue is larger than NCUA salaries," says Chip Filson, Callahan Report contributor and president of Callahan & Associates, the firm that produces The Callahan Report. "This represents just another reason for the reform of the current regulatory structure."

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