More than 32,000 employees of USAA, one of San Antonio’s largest employers, are receiving bonuses equal to 16.2 percent of their base salaries, the company said Tuesday.

USAA CEO Stuart Parker also awarded a one-time payment of $1,000 to all non-executive employees, according to a news release.

The 16.2 percent bonus is smaller than the 16.8 percent that employees received for 2016. But the slightly smaller bonus and extra $1,000 reflect how the insurer responded to a record number of disaster-related claims filed nationwide in 2017, company officials said.

In determining the annual bonus, USAA’s board of directors considers factors such as “how well we fulfill our mission, member and employee satisfaction, growth, and financial performance,” the release stated.

The insurance and financial services company employs 19,000 in the San Antonio area.

USAA spokesman Matt Hartwig said the corporate tax decrease from 35 percent to 21 percent did not affect the insurer’s annual bonus or the one-time $1,000 payment.

“The 16.2 percent is based on our performance in 2017,” he said. “To the extent the tax cut plays a role, it will be in 2018 and beyond. We certainly think the bonus and $1,000 payment are great and reflective of the year we had in 2017.”

The company plans to reinvest its tax savings in its employees and membership in different ways, which may include technology and infrastructure, according to the USAA press release.

The press release outlined highlights of the insurance and financial services company’s performance in 2017:

  • Membership grew by more than 4 percent (more than 500,000) to 12.4 million members by the end of 2017
  • The company announced expansion plans, including locating or relocating up to 2,000 workers to downtown San Antonio, and adding 1,500 net new jobs in the local market over the next five years.
  • USAA member claims related to hurricanes, wildfires, severe thunderstorms, and winter storms totaled almost $2.4 billion – up more than $200 million from 2016 – making 2017 the insurer’s costliest year for catastrophes.
  • The company’s net worth is almost $31 billion.
  • USAA increased its employee minimum wage to $16 per hour before Congress adopted the new tax provisions. The company’s minimum wage varied by location to the increase.

USAA also offered an 8 percent company match for retirement contributions, raised its tuition assistance, and expanded paid parental leave benefits before Congress passed the tax cuts, according to the company’s release.

Companies nationwide such as JPMorgan and Apple have announced a range of additional employee benefits and new job initiatives following the corporate tax overhaul.

Edmond Ortiz

Edmond Ortiz

Edmond Ortiz, a lifelong San Antonian, is a freelance reporter/editor who has worked with the San Antonio Express-News and Prime Time Newspapers.