It’s critical to show how a properly structured SERP can align with a CU’s goals, the role pre-funding the SERP can play, and that the right benefits partner will minimize the regulatory risk.
Top talent is in demand and these executives know exactly what’s being offered in the compensation marketplace. Credit unions quickly realize it can be hard to compete—especially if their candidate is from banking.
If it were simply a matter of salaries, the research shows CUs are pretty competitive. But we struggle with the complete benefits package. Banks can offer stock options and other perks that CUs cannot. And that’s where Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans can help.
SERPs are deferred benefits plans that help address both retirement and retention challenges. These plans are non-qualified, which means they can be made available to an individual (rather than equally to a complete employee class). They can be an affordable way for CUs to beef up their compensation packages and can be tailored specifically for the situation and individual(s).
Your board may wish to gain more knowledge and experience with deferred compensation. Without enough knowledge, some boards worry that executive benefits plans will be expensive to fund. Your board could also be concerned that these “extra” benefits don’t align with CU philosophy— or that having a SERP could open the CU up to compliance and regulatory issues.
Education is the answer to all these worries. First, boards need to understand that CEOs face a retirement parity gap and what top talent—especially talent from outside the CU industry—is demanding. Then, it’s critical to show how a properly structured SERP can align with a CU’s goals, the role pre-funding the SERP can play, and that the right benefits partner will minimize the regulatory risk.