We reward Associate commitment and delivery of results with a comprehensive package of pay and benefits. These packages are outlined in annual Total Rewards Statements providing full details of each element of individual pay and benefits packages.
The packages we offer vary around the world according to local legal requirements and market conditions, but all are designed with the following aims in mind:
Associates are paid competitively
Associates and their families enjoy good health
Associates feel protected from the effects of catastrophic life events
Associates know that Mars respects lives outside work
Associates plan and prepare for retirement.
Mars applies the same general approach to pay for Associates at all levels in the company, to ensure above-average wages compared with sector and local levels. We aim for Associates’ total compensation to be in the top 25 percent when compared with appropriate competitors within a relevant geography. We perform annual benchmarks to check this is the case, and use the results to adjust pay scales as necessary. In return for above-average pay, we expect Associates to work effectively to deliver superior business performance.
Ensuring that Mars Associates and their families enjoy the best health possible is a key component of our benefits packages. Our wellness initiatives help us all stay healthy, but when Associates or family members do become ill we provide access to good quality, affordable healthcare. This makes good business sense – Associates who are unhealthy or worried about a sick relative are unlikely to give their best to their job. We also provide facilities to help Associates manage their work/life balance and stress levels – read more in our Wellness section.
The vast majority of Associates have financial protection covering sickness, disability and death. This package includes comprehensive short- and long-term disability programs and life insurance equal to three times gross annual salary plus target annual bonus.
Flexible policies allow Mars Associates time away from work to deal with life events. Everyone needs time to relax and recharge, and we provide paid vacation time for all Associates. The amount of leave we provide varies based on each country's cultural and legal requirements.
We want Associates to enjoy the retirement of their choice, and Mars accepts some of the responsibility for ensuring that Associates have adequate income in retirement - providing a range of pension and retirement savings options. One example of this is encouraging savings by matching Associates' contributions with an equivalent company contribution. We further encourage retirement savings through newsletters, podcasts, webinars and seminars with savings professionals. During the recent global financial crisis, many companies scaled back their contributions to Associate retirement savings plans, but Mars contributions remained the same and, in some cases, actually increased.
We benchmark our executive pay levels on an annual basis against 20 large, globally diverse companies in the consumer products and pharmaceutical sectors. The results of this annual survey are used to recommend adjustments to executive compensation for approval by the Remuneration Committee and eventually by the Board of Mars, Incorporated.
Executive pay is composed of fixed base pay, annual incentive pay and long-term incentives. Mars differs from almost all publicly held companies in that fixed pay is a much larger portion of total compensation than is typical, and all incentives are paid in cash rather than as equity. We believe that this approach strikes the right balance between rewarding good performance and giving Associates sufficient income security to take decisions that are right for the long-term – even if they are costly in the short-term.