MetLife trims compensation for CEO, CFO in year marked by errors

(Reuters) – MetLife Inc (MET.N) reduced total 2017 compensation for its chief executive and chief financial officer, a year marked by two key errors, including payments it failed to make to pensioners whom it could not locate, according to a filing on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A MetLife Inc building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian received total compensation of $14.7 million, a 3.6 percent drop from $15.3 million he received in 2016, MetLife said in its proxy filing.

Total compensation for the New York-based insurer’s CFO, John Hele, dropped by 6.4 percent, to $5.3 million from $5.7 million, according to the filing, a change that reflects MetLife’s “performance in managing financial matters, including material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting,” MetLife said.

MetLife revealed two errors in 2017, including internal failures that resulted in the insurer not making payments to 13,500 pensioners whose plans MetLife took over from private companies.

The problem, which MetLife is in the process of trying to fix by locating and paying the pensioners, stretched back 25 years, the company said in January.

In February, the company had to boost reserves by $510 million pretax because it had previously released funds for its obligations to the pensioners.

In March, MetLife said it uncovered a reserve miscalculation for a Japanese annuity product during a review it launched in late 2017 and completed early this year.

“MetLife did not live up to the high standards we set for ourselves,” Kandarian wrote in his annual letter, also on Thursday.

The company reduced a cash annual incentive compensation award for each of the two executives by 25 percent to $3 million for Kandarian and $1.5 million for Hele.

MetLife also considered MetLife’s total shareholder return in its analysis, it said.

Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn

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