Discussion Paper of the Institute for Organisational Economics 5/2021

Entwicklungen der Vorstandsabfindungen von 2010 bis 2019
Ute Schottmüller-Einwag/Alexander Dilger
May 2021



Developments in Severance Payments for Executive Board Members from 2010 to 2019

This study investigates the development of the acceptance of Recommendation G.13 sentence 1 of the German Corporate Governance Code (dated December 16, 2019, formerly 4.2.3 paragraph 4 sentence 1), which provides ceilings for early termination of contracts of members of the executive board. The severance payment amounts of early retiring members of the executive board of DAX companies in relation to annual compensation and remaining contract term are significantly lower in the period 2015 to 2019 than between 2010 and 2014. However, there is no evidence of a significant decrease in severance cases. In the DAX companies’ declarations of conformity pursuant to § 161 AktG, the rate of deviation with respect to the recommendation under consideration is decreasing, but an exceeding of the recommended upper limit is not mentioned in any of the following declarations of conformity. Finally, there are increasingly other forms of generous payments to departing board members in addition to the less generous severance payments.