Remuneration and social benefits

The remuneration package of Linde employees comprises various elements. In addition to a basic fixed salary, our employees receive variable remuneration components depending on their position within the Group. We also offer our staff social benefits in line with the conditions which apply in the different regions. These benefits include occupational pensions, health insurance at subsidised or special rates, and health promotion measures. Personnel expenses during the reporting year totalled EUR 3.423 billion (2012: EUR 3.117 billion), of which EUR 2.974 billion related to salaries (including social security contributions) and EUR 193 million to pensions. In 2013, 45.6 percent of our staff were employed on the basis of collective wage agreements (2012: 45.1 percent).

EUR 193 million

spent on pensions

Our performance management system provides the foundation for comparable and fair staff appraisals. A global IT module dedicated to this system has been introduced. Using the system, performance evaluations which are binding on all managers worldwide can be carried out uniformly across the Group. Our global performance management system includes job evaluations of all executive positions within the Group. These evaluations take account of such criteria as transparency, equal opportunities and pay in line with market conditions. Remuneration levels are reviewed by means of internal and external comparisons to ensure that they are appropriate and in line with the market. Managers' pay is based on the performance of both the Group as a whole and of the individual employee. By means of the Linde Long Term Incentive Plan, senior managers may also acquire Linde share options and thus participate directly in the company's growth in value. In the 2013 financial year, managers below Executive Board level invested in 24,701 Linde shares via the scheme. For each of these shares, these plan participants are entitled to an additional Linde share on the expiry of the four-year qualifying period.

In 2013, we carried out an exemplary analysis of the salaries of employees not employed on the basis of collective wage agreements. The main focus was the head offices of Linde AG, Linde Gas, Linde Gas Germany and Linde Engineering. The analysis did not reveal any significant differences in the remuneration paid to male and female employees in comparable positions.

Employees in more than 50 countries have access to occupational pensions and health care benefits. Around 80 percent of the Group-wide workforce is covered by company benefit schemes. Through defined benefit plans, 27,475 active employees are being paid an occupational pension, and 18,309 former employees have acquired a vested claim to a company pension. In total, 31,006 pensioners are drawing an occupational pension within the Group.

Linde has created globally binding rules on the modification, introduction or closure of pension plans. Any such measure must be agreed in advance with the Global Pension Committee, which is composed of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer and experts in accounting, finance and human resources.