The numbers are in on 2014 CEO compensation, and as the old Seinfeld joke goes, they are real and they are spectacular. CEO pay is also controversial as the income gap widens in America.
The average S&P 500 company CEO made 373 times the salary of the average production and non-supervisory worker in 2014, up from 331 times in 2013, according to the AFL-CIO.
Why is CEO pay rising sharply, and how are CEO pay packages structured to maximize executive compensation? Here are the basics you need to know to understand the big numbers behind the CEO headlines.
1. How much do CEOs get paid?
The average pay package last year was $22.6 million, up from $20.7 million in 2013, according to an analysis of companies' proxy disclosures by executive-compensation data firm Equilar.
The average gain in total compensation for the 200 highest-paid U.S. CEOs worked out to 9.1 percent last year. That handily thrashed the 2.4 percent economic growth and meager increase in personal income that other American