Base salary and benefits

Base salary represents the regular payments made to an employee as compensation for carrying out their role.

Swiss Re regularly reviews total compensation (of which base salary is an element) against the market to ensure that it remains competitive. Base salary is primarily determined by the employment markets in which Swiss Re competes for talent. However, Swiss Re also considers factors such as individual performance, skills and expertise when making salary-related decisions.

Swiss Re also aims to provide a package of employee benefits appropriate to local employment market conditions to attract, motivate and retain talent. The primary purpose is to provide a proper degree of security for employees and their dependents through pension, health, disability and death benefits.

Swiss Re offers its employees a share purchase programme, the Employee Participation Plan (EPP), to help align employee and shareholder interests and to encourage an ownership culture across the firm. In the past, employees were usually able to enrol in a two-year savings programme culminating in the purchase of a limited number of Swiss Re shares at a favourable price. In countries where a direct investment in shares was not possible, employees were offered an indirect interest in shares.

During the course of 2012, as part of the overall compensation framework review, the EPP was largely consolidated into a single global plan, the Global Share Participation Plan (GSPP). The updated plan will in most cases be a three-year monthly share purchase plan that will be opened to employees in the second quarter of 2013.