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Working 9 to 5 no longer cuts it for many employees. Millennials and working mothers value telework and varying hours, so some associations are learning they must get creative with job perks. “In the last several years I’ve seen an amazing trend toward flexibility,” Mark Stevenson of Smart HR said. “That’s the number one valued thing by employees.”

May 31, 2013

By Mark R. Graham

For most staff in tax-exempt groups, typical 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans are sufficient to fund retirement, but for highly paid executives, IRS contribution limitations on those plans fall short.

Many organizations look to fund the retirement of CEOs and senior staffers through supplemental executive retirement plans—deferred compensation tools that augment traditional plans.

The highest paid non-CEO staffers who are registered lobbyists in a tax-exempt organization. Compensation figures are derived from IRS documents for tax years ending 2011 and early 2012.

More than two dozen senior staffers at associations earned at least $1 million in 2011 after adding bonuses and supplemental income—all likely part of a bounce back in terms of total compensation since the recent economic recession. “We are starting to see things go back to normal in terms of pay increases,” said Lyn McCloskey, principal with PRM Consulting.

Women now make up 20 percent of the chief executives among the nation's largest associations, although they still generally make less than their male counterparts. "Women have arrived and are increasingly moving up and taking on these larger associations," said Denise Grant of Russell Reynolds Associates.

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