Salary of Consumers' Association chief falls to £462,000

The end of a controversial incentive plan meant Peter Vicary-Smith's earnings fell by 15 per cent, say the latest accounts, but his basic pay rose and he received a £44k compensatory payment

Peter Vicary-Smith
Peter Vicary-Smith

The chief executive of the Consumers’ Association, the charity behind the Which? publications and brand, saw his salary fall by 15 per cent last year when a controversial bonus scheme came to an end.

The charity’s accounts for the year to 30 June 2017, which were published at Companies House this week, show that Peter Vicary-Smith’s pay fell from £490,000 in 2015/16 to £462,000 last year.

A long-term incentive plan bonus that earned Vicary-Smith an additional £125,000 on top of his basic salary in the 2015/16 financial year had been discontinued.

The LTIP was introduced to incentivise senior management to deliver long-term growth across Which?’s commercial business and meant that six-figure bonuses were paid to members of Which?’s executive team.

But the LTIP scheme was scrapped earlier this year after a review of executive remuneration within the organisation and a number of years of controversy about pay at the organisation.

A Third Sector investigation last year showed bonuses worth a total of £2.24m were set aside by the organisation in the year to 30 June 2016.

The latest accounts show that Vicary-Smith received a payment of £44,000 as compensation for the closure of the LTIP.

They reveal that Vicary-Smith’s basic pay rose to £241,000 from £235,000 in the previous year, and he received a bonus of £98,000, compared with £54,000 the previous year.

He also receieved a pension allowance of £27,000, benefits-in-kind of £17,000 and allowances of £38,000, but had to repay £1,000 of LTIP, according to the accounts.

The accounts say that the changes in executive pay are part of a wider change in remuneration policy at the organisation.

"Our remuneration review has led to a change in the reward structure for our senior executives from 1 July 2017, and indeed to the approach we will adopt for all our staff in the future," the accounts say.

"Our reward programme now centres on a mix of commercial and charitable objectives for all our senior executives, and ensures an alignment of reward provision across the organisation as a whole, moving away from a long-term reward for a small number of executives focused on commercial goals."

The accounts show that Which?’s overall financial performance was similar to the previous year, with total income falling slightly from £101.2m to £101.1m and total expenditure increasing slightly from £102.1m to £105m.

The charity’s annual general meeting was held yesterday, although the results of votes on several motions to reform the charity were yet to be finalised, according to a spokesman for the charity.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners