Deutsche Bahn is the problem child of the Federal Republic; delays are part of everyday life. Even though so much goes wrong, the board members are rewarded with bonuses worth millions.
The Deutsche Bahn AG is retroactively paying out bonuses totaling almost five million euros to its board members for 2022 – even though the ailing company has missed its goals for punctuality and customer satisfaction. This emerges from research by Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Westdeutscher Rundfunk and “Süddeutscher Zeitung”.
Accordingly, the payments were initially postponed because the railway had received government support in the form of the electricity price brake. The law stipulates that no bonuses may be paid out in this case. However, the electricity price brake ends at the end of the year. “And then bonuses can also flow for 2022, as the Federal Ministry of Economics confirmed upon request,” write the media.
Alone railway boss Richard Lutz should get almost 1.3 million euros extra. According to the research, the remaining board members can each look forward to over six-figure sums:
- 1,261,000 euros went to Richard Lutz, chairman of the DB board
- Martin Seiler received 736,000 euros
- Berthold Huber pocketed 699,000 euros
- 518,000 euros went to Levin Holle
- Daniela Gerd tom Markotten received 482,000 euros
- 473,000 euros went to Sigrid Nikutta
- Roland Pofalla, who resigned from the DB board in the reporting year, received 245,000 euros
- Evelyn Palla and Michael Peterson each received 214,000 euros
The bonuses are in addition to the basic salary of around four million euros for the nine board members in 2022. According to the group report, they will receive a total of around nine million euros. Bonuses are possible despite failure to meet punctuality and customer satisfaction targets. Areas in which goals are exceeded can be offset against each other.
The railway exceeded its targets in these areas
According to the report, the railway slightly exceeded its own goals in the area of “women in leadership and employee satisfaction” in 2022. The bonus for this area has apparently been increased significantly, to a value of 175 percent, it goes on to say. The nine company board members at the time should receive around 1.6 million euros for this goal alone.
According to the documents, the railway also exceeded its self-imposed target when it came to CO2 savings, namely by two percentage points, the research alliance reported. For this purpose, CEO Richard Lutz should receive almost 440,000 euros in bonus payments.
Bonus system is scheduled to be changed in 2024
The supervisory board, which includes representatives of the federal government and the trade unions, decides on the bonus system at the railway. According to the report, the system will be changed over next year. Railway board members would then have a higher proportion of their salary as a fixed salary, and the proportion of bonuses should decrease. The railway explained to the research alliance that the company does not comment on matters relating to the supervisory board.
The group report for 2022 states that the total compensation of the board members consists of a fixed basic salary, a performance-related annual bonus and a long-term bonus program with a multi-year assessment basis. The focus of these long-term incentives would be “long-term transport and climate policy goals as well as the sustainable creditworthiness and profitability of the DB Group”. The plan term is four years.