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January 14, 2023

Executive Compensation at AARP

by Anne Paddock

AARP – the American Association of Retired Persons – is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization who offers a broad mission:  “to empower people to choose how they live as they age” but more specifically focuses on the issues and benefits of those 50 years and older.  With an estimated 38 million members who pay $9-$16 annually, AARP is one of the largest non-profit member-based organizations in the country.

Based in Washington, DC, AARP has 12 voting members in its governing body, 11 of whom are independent; 8 of whom are female while 4 are male.

In 2019, AARP reported total revenue of $1.75 billion (compared to $1.8 billion in 2018) with the largest sources of revenue from royalties ($977 million), memberships dues ($300 million), investment income and gains ($250 million), and publication advertising revenue ($128 million), which means AARP is primarily engaged in obtaining revenue from royalties through the use of their name with the sale of insurance policies and other products sold to members.

Expenses totaled $1.6 billion with the largest expense reported to be compensation. 2,000 employees received  $343 million (or an average of $171,000).  1,214 (or about 60% of employees) received more than $100,000 in compensation.  The most highly compensated employee were reported to be:

  • $1,409,028:  Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO
  • $  784,075:  Nancy A LeaMond, EVP, Advocacy and Engagement
  • $  761,804:  Scott Frisch, EVP and COO
  • $  710,570:  Martha Boudreau, EVP and Chief, Communications and Marketing
  • $  575,894:  Kevin Donnellan, EVP and Chief of Staff
  • $  547,742:  David Morales, EVP and General Counsel
  • $  541,805:  Debra Whitman, EVP and Public Policy Officer
  • $  520,167:  Myrna Blyth, SVP and Editorial Director
  • $  517,307:  Kristin Dillon, SVP, States and Community Engagement
  • $  509,840:  Nancy Smith, EVP and Corporate Secretary
  • $  484,142:  John Hishta, SVP, Campaigns
  • $  480,649:  Sami Hassanyeh, SVP, Digital Strategy and Membership
  • $  480,186:  Jean Cheng Setzfand, SVP, Programs
  • $  468,502:  Mark La Croix, VP, IT Services

The 14 most highly compensated employees received $9 million in compensation, which equates to an average of $650,000.  The most highly compensated employee was Jo Ann Jenkins who received $1.4 million in 2019 and $6 million over the past 5 years:

  • 2019:  $1.4 million
  • 2018:  $1.3 million
  • 2017:  $1.4 million
  • 2016:  $1.1 million
  • 2015:  $1.0 million

AARP paid for first class or charter travel, travel for companions, gross up payments or made tax indemnification.  Specifically, AARP paid for first class travel for AARP board members, officers, and key employees when business class accommodations were not available for flights exceeding 5 hours (not hard to do with a connection), or when there is late night arrival, or medical reasons.  The CEO, President, and Board Chair were allowed to fly first class or business class on flights exceeding 90 minutes.

643 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 5 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $86 million:  Mediacom Worldwide, of NY, NY for media
  • $51 million:  LSC Communications, of Chicago, IL for digital print services
  • $40 million:  RR Donnelly, of Chicago, IL for printing services
  • $27 million:  GMMB, Inc, of Washington, DC for communications
  • $23 million:  Google, Inc, of Mountain View, CA for services

At year-end, AARP reported net assets of $1.5 billion compared to $1.2 billion at the beginning of the year with the growth attributable to the allocation of $140 million in unspent revenue and $160 million in net unrealized gains on investments.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019), click here.

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