Chief executive salary FAQs

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

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 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.

As Chief Executive of a large and unique charity and 24/7 emergency service that covers the UK and Republic of Ireland, he is responsible for tens of thousands of volunteers, lifeguards, fundraisers and others dedicated to saving lives at sea in a highly professional, technologically advanced and often risky environment.

It is unique in terms of its scope and remit – there are over 230 lifeboat stations providing lifesaving cover 365 days a year – and running costs for such a large and complex organisation exceeded £163M last year (2018) and we need to ensure we have the right remuneration package to attract and retain people with the right skills to lead such a complex organisation.

The pay policy of the RNLI is suggested by the organisation’s Pay and Reward Manager and approved by a Remuneration Committee made up of the RNLI’s Trustees (who are all volunteers). The Remuneration Committee may take external counsel. In setting overall pay levels for our staff, the RNLI takes account of pay practice in other similarly sized charities, and, where necessary, private sector organisations for specialist and technical roles. We aim for a sustainable and consistent pay strategy that meets the diverse requirements of the RNLI and a pay practice that ensures that individual pay decisions are supported by a rigorous performance management process that applies to all employees in the organisation.