Chief executive salary FAQs

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about our chief executive’s salary.

How much does the RNLI chief executive earn?

The RNLI is committed to a fair and appropriate reward policy for all staff, from the Chief Executive down.

We have disclosed the Chief Executive's *total salary data for many years in our Annual Report, meeting the Charity Commission's standards, confident in the knowledge that our pay structures are fair and appropriate to a world-class search and rescue organisation and charity, whose volunteers and staff have been saving lives around the UK and Ireland since 1824.

We feel people deserve to understand fully how their generous donations are used, including why the RNLI pays what it does to the Chief Executive.

The table below spells out the Chief Executive's total package for 2018: 

£195,413* as per the 2018 Annual Report

* Includes salary, pension car and employer’s NI contribution.  Previous accounts excluded employer’s NI contributions.

The RNLI appointed a new Chief Executive in May 2019, who is paid a yearly salary of £160,000.

The current Chief Executive does not receive any additional allowances, he does not receive a Company Car or Car Allowance and has chosen not to receive RNLI employers’ pension contributions. The Chief Executive does have an employee benefit of 1 x salary life assurance cover.

How is the Chief Executive’s salary reviewed?

The RNLI has worked hard to ensure reward for all staff is fair and appropriate, benchmarking against the charity and commercial sectors. Our priority is to attract the best candidates and get the right person in the right role at all levels of the RNLI. 

The Chief Executive's pay review and any subsequent pay award are part of the same collective pay and approval process that applies to all other staff.  He also has the opportunity for the same level of pension arrangements (including contribution levels) as all other staff. For 2015 the Chief Executive opted not to participate in the pension scheme, re-joining in 2016. The inclusion of employer’s NI contributions makes up the majority of the increase in his aggregate employee benefits. The other is the pay review increase.

The Chief Executive has access to an RNLI-funded car, in line with the policy for those who are required to undertake significant travel for the charity. The salary is determined by a sub-committee of the Board of Trustees, all of whom are unpaid.

In some respects it is difficult to compare the RNLI to other charities. We have tens of thousands of volunteers, lifeboat crew, lifeguards, fundraisers and others dedicated to saving lives at sea in a highly professional, technologically advanced and often risky business. Our increasingly sophisticated lifesaving operation encompasses lifeboats, lifeguards, flood rescue, international, fundraising, engineering, boatbuilding, safety and education. We are a professional emergency service.