Former USAA CEO Stuart Parker. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Former USAA CEO Stuart Parker received a severance package worth at least $6.5 million after he left the company last year.

The payments, made after he retired Jan. 31, 2020, formed the bulk of the more than $11.3 million he received in total compensation from five USAA-affiliated companies last year, according to records from the Nebraska Department of Insurance.

Besides the severance package, Parker in 2020 also received $336,473 in salaries and $4.8 million in additional compensation, including bonuses.

Parker’s salary and bonuses – without the severance package – stood significantly taller than what his successor was paid by the insurers. Wayne Peacock, who took helm as CEO the day after Parker officially retired, appears from the filings to have actually taken a pay cut when he was promoted.

Peacock raked in a comparatively paltry $1.9 million in total compensation in 2020. The year before, when he was the president of USAA Property and Casualty Insurance Group, Peacock received more than twice that amount: $4.9 million.

USAA declined to clarify details about compensations, which it considers private. The filings its companies submitted to Nebraska contained a stamp warning they should not be made publicly accessible.

Instead, the San Antonio-based insurance and financial services giant offered a statement: “Recruiting top, diverse talent at all levels of USAA is vital to providing our members with the products and service they expect and deserve and reflecting our deep understanding of the military community and their financial needs.”

Compared to other insurance companies, “they have made great efforts to conceal this information from the public,” said Joe Belth, a retired professor of insurance at Indiana University who has compiled insurance executive compensations since 1975.

Nebraska law requires insurers in the state to provide figures for executive compensation.

USAA led an effort to repeal the century-old law in 2014, and paid $50,000 to one of the state capitol’s top lobbying firms, Mueller Robak, according to coverage at the time from the Omaha World-Herald. The effort was not successful.

Many states used to have similar laws, owing to scandals in the early 20th century. Nebraska is the only one left with a requirement for all insurance companies.

The five USAA companies that filed in Nebraska are United Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Co., USAA General Indemnity Co., Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Co., and USAA Life Insurance Co.

The figures in the Nebraska filings don’t capture all the compensation received by USAA executives, only those associated with the company’s insurance businesses. USAA also provides financial services.

USAA is the city’s second-largest private-sector employer. Roughly 19,000 of its 35,000 employees work in the San Antonio area.

Last December, USAA gave bonuses companywide to its employees. The 10.1% bonuses, part of an annual compensation package, were the lowest they had been since details of the bonuses were first made public in 2007.

Bonuses declined from previous years because the company fell short of performance goals set by the board of directors.

Employees the San Antonio Report spoke with said they were told that their annual bonuses going forward would be based more on individual and group performance, following a similar change to executive bonuses two years ago.

Disclosure: USAA is a San Antonio Report business member. For a full list of donors, click here.

Waylon Cunningham

Waylon Cunningham

Waylon Cunningham writes about business and technology. Contact him at waylon@sareport.org.