Retirement payouts boost Novant execs’ pay

Big payouts from Novant Health’s retirement plan boosted compensation for the hospital system’s top leaders in 2013, with some executives bringing home nine times what they made in the previous year.

The one-time payouts were made as a result of Novant’s switch from a defined benefit, or pension, plan for top executives to a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k). Novant said the switch will save the hospital system $50 million in the long run. Because of the switch, Novant paid out executives’ balances in their retirement accounts as a lump sum.

Winston-Salem-based Novant operates 15 hospitals in several states, including four in Mecklenburg County, as well as hundreds of physician practices. The nonprofit hospital company has $3.6 billion worth of annual revenue.

Chief Executive Carl Armato was paid about $8.2 million in 2013, up from $1.7 million the year before. Most of that was made up of his pension payout, which totaled $6.1 million. His salary was just over $1 million, and his bonus was $917,964.

Other hospital executives saw similar jumps. Chief Administrative Officer Jacqueline Daniels was the highest-paid, with $9.8 million in total compensation. Daniels, who has been with Novant for 31 years, saw her pay boosted by an almost $8.7 million pension payout.

Chief financial officer Fred Hargett’s pay increased to $2.7 million, up from $1.1 million last year in part because of a $1.4 million pension payment. Chief Clinical Officer Sallye Liner made $1.4 million, up from $1.1 million, while Chief Medical Officer Stephen Wallenhaupt saw his pay increase to $2.2 million, up from $1.7 million.