Executive benefits increased

The top 100 US industrial companies didn't go overboard last year in raising the fees for their directors hired from outside the companies. But they did increase benefits.

Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby, international management consultants, studied 1981 proxy statements and discovered that the median annual retainer for outside directors rose 7 percent in 1980, to $15,000 from $14,000.

However, 38 of the top 100 companies now have deferred compensation plans for their directors, compared with 22 in 1980 and nine in 1979. Thirteen companies also have life insurrance plans for outside directors, as against eight in 1980. And now eight companies offer their outside directors retirement arrangements, up from three in the previous year.

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