Compensation and Social Benefits

At WACKER, employees participate in the company’s ups and downs. That is why fixed basic salaries (including vacation and Christmas pay) are supplemented by variable compensation – a voluntary bonus to employees on both the standard and above-standard payscales. It consists of a profit-sharing sum and a personal-performance component. Domestic employees at WACKER’s chemical divisions received a profit-sharing payment equal to 10.05% of their annual salary in 2007; in 2008, the figure was 12.5%.

Alongside compensation, other important aspects include social and fringe benefits. Based on what competitors offer and on local market conditions, these benefits include subsidized company restaurants, supplementary sick pay, and attractive company cars.

WACKER company pensions are a key component of employee compensation. They are available at nearly every site around the world, though individual pension plans comply with country-specific legislation.

In Germany, WACKER offers employees an attractive company pension plan via the Wacker Chemie VVaG pension fund, established in 1928. The fund has some 15,800 members and provides pension payments to some 6,900 retirees. The average monthly pension was €619 in 2007 and €632 in 2008. WACKER matches employees’ annual pension contributions. Additionally, employees have the opportunity to enlist in a private plan that minimizes their tax burden while saving for retirement.

The WACKER pension fund, with €1.2 billion on its balance sheet, is one of Germany’s largest company pension funds. Thanks to its prudent risk-management policy (based on a broad and diversified investment strategy), the fund achieves healthy returns even during economic downturns. The market-value return was 3.3% in 2007. The ratio of hidden reserves was 14.1%, well above that achieved by other chemical-industry funds. In the wake of the financial crisis, this ratio fell to 5% in 2008. This still represented a healthy basis, which helped the pension fund to pass all the stress tests required by Germany’s financial supervisory authority (BaFin).

With company pensions supplementing their state pensions, WACKER employees can maintain their accustomed living standards on retirement.

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Company Pensions1












Domestic Group






Average monthly company pension




Expenses for pensions and pension-related benefits

€ thousand




WACKER helps to ensure a minimum amount of social security even in countries without state-run health and old-age pension insurance. Worldwide, it’s vital that the compensation and social benefits we offer are fair and competitive. At the very least, they correspond to local legislation or industrial codes of practice and, in many cases, they surpass the local minimum. In this way, lower-paid employees can cover their own and their families’ living costs. For example, staff at our Adrian site (Michigan, USA) generally receive a higher wage than the state’s legal minimum of $7.25. Plus, WACKER offers a health insurance plan to all Adrian employees working 20 or more hours a week.

With its exemplary social benefits and performance-oriented compensation, WACKER remains an attractive company for current and future employees. This explains our high level of employee loyalty – 2008’s fluctuation rate was 2.9% groupwide, and in Germany just 0.9%. On average, employees remained at the company for 16.8 years.

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Fluctuation Rate





















International (excluding Germany)




WACKER is one of the best employers in the German chemical industry, as shown in an annual survey by Germany’s Association of Chemical-Industry Executives (VAA). Targeting 2,000 management employees from 24 chemical companies, the survey ranked WACKER second in 2007 and third in 2008. It assessed corporate strategies, culture and working conditions.

In China, our WACKER Greater China subsidiary was voted “Top Employer 2008” in Greater Shanghai, where local companies had been rated on their leadership style, personnel-development programs, company goals and strategies.