Median board member pay rose to $300,000 per year, up 3.4% from the median pay of $290,000 last year, according to the latest survey from Compensation Advisory Partners (CAP).
According to board surveys by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, directors spent on average 1,075 hours on board work in 2016. This is equivalent to about 20 hours of work per week. This means that board members receive a median pay of $279 per hour.
The CAP survey found that board member compensation was a combination of cash and equity. On average, companies offered total pay to board members comprised of 61% equity and 39% cash. This was consistent with the prior year. Only a quarter (24%) of companies increased their retainers (cash and/or equity) offered to board members.
Some board members received additional compensation. The survey found that non-executive chair directors received additional median compensation of $233,000 per year. Lead directors received an additional $35,000 in compensation. Both measures were in line with the prior year. Additional compensation for these positions is due to different responsibilities.
Of note, pay limits are now a standard practice. Fifty-four percent of the largest 100 companies surveyed now have an award limit for director compensation, up from 47% in the prior year. These pay limits are likely a result of litigation where directors have approved their own annual compensation. Director pay limits range from $250,000 to $4.75 million.