USAA Awards 16.2% Employee Bonus, Plus $1,000 to Non-Executives

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The USAA logo at the USAA headquarters in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Scott Ball.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

The USAA logo at the USAA headquarters in San Antonio.

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.

18 thoughts on “USAA Awards 16.2% Employee Bonus, Plus $1,000 to Non-Executives

  1. While I’m all for performance bonuses, USAA is raising ALL policy holder premiums for 2018 regardless claims history. Seems like a member owned cooperative should hold down premium raises rather than hand out excessive bonuses. I question the judgement of USAA leadership.

    • Insurance is a shared risk pool. So states with heavy cat losses like texas florida, california, etc feel the burden across the board.

    • Agreed!….hopefully they will not have to have layoffs due to lost customers. We have homes, cars, and lake property on our USAA policy and have never had a claim. Yet our policy increases every 6 months. We will be purchasing our insurance elsewhere…Goodbye USAA!

  2. And it sounds from the article that the bonuses were coming anyway. That the salaried workers get the big bonus while the hourly get a grand or something smaller but the fact remains that the tax cut had nothing to do with it. But the author makes it sound like the tax cut was the reason for the bonuses in the first place. Frankly, I agree with the comment above. Another company that raises premiums only to give it away as bonuses for executives. Why not try to give the customers a break that your working for.

  3. The bonus is to all employees not just salaried employees. My husband is an hourly employee and has worked for USAA for almost 20 years and they have always had a bonus like this. USAA has the best service around and the employees truly care about the members. An amazing company to work for as well as to be insured by.

  4. Being an employee for over 15 years I can assure that USAA premiums are extremely competitive. And you will not find better member service at any other insurance company. Shop around and you will see the accusations written above are not true. Our work of handling billions of dollars for our members shows the quality of the employees who deserve these bonuses. Overtime and long hours away from our own families to assist our members in need without homes or vehicles USAA was there.

    • As a nurse, I save lives for a living and work long hours, weekends, and holidays. I have gotten anywere from a 0.5-2% pay raise since 2008 (the maximum allowed). Prior to that, we were getting 3-4% pay raises for exceptional evaluations and no bonuses. Do not defend excessive pay and benefits. If anything, be thankful for your job while still understanding where we come from as you boss being that we are part owners in the business. We deserve a piece of the pie too if there is that much excess to spread around!

  5. Still not offering Home Equity loans after over 2 years. Rates still increasing every year. mission fulfillment? Once a shining star, products & pricing suck a little more every year. Bloated, ignorant management.

    Also beginning to look like NFL on social issues. Flip flopping on Hannity and going out of their way to not be mistakingly associated w/ any type of conservative principles.

  6. Being an employee for over 15 years I can say the bonus has decreased over the past several years. The $1,000 bonus is new. People may not realize that employees do not make commission like other insurance agents and their salary is considerably less than other insurers and their raises are not good either.

    • Most Americans do not get bonuses and since 2008 have not gotten more than a 1 to 2 percent pay raise, if any. In my profession, I do not work on commission either.

  7. How can the tax bill not be part of the equation? USAA insured for almost 50 years. Why are the distributions reduced year after year? Rates are supposed to be more than competitive. They’re supposed to be lower.

  8. USAA raised homeowners premiums last year and is asking for steep increases again this year. How bout returning some of that money to the members in the form of lower premiums or rebates? Thousands of dollars in subscriber savings account and we only get a couple hundred dollars each year. Not feeling the benefits of Member Owned.

  9. I just found this report and am speechless. I am a USAA member living in Lubbock, Texas. These bonuses are beyond what an earlier comment described as “excessive”. The amount of money being given as bonuses and additional payment represent money that could be reinvested in USAA and the members who own it in many ways. I believe they interest rates on savings accounts and CDs is way too low to generate savings growth. The fees paid to manage USAA mutual funds and make brokerage trades are expensive. In addition to these opportunities to pass the excess moneys on to members/owners versus employees actually sickens me. At a time when corporate and annual bonuses have all but disappeared for most employees, USAA chooses to payout ridiculously excessive by any national comparison standards bonuses. I have my doctorate degree and work three jobs to pay off my education and save for retirement. I live meagerly at fifty years of age to not even get a 2% return after fees and inflation on my USAA retirement accounts. We all work hard. We are loyal to USAA. Why would employees get rewarded in excess, while members cannot get better than average returns and fees!

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