Earnings of FTSE 100 executives rise a fifth; CEOs now earn 120 times more than average employee

London (Reuters) - Directors at London-listed blue-chip companies earned 21 per cent more in the 2013/14 financial year thanks to a steep rise in long-term incentives, a report showed on Monday.

The median annual earnings for directors at FTSE 100 companies was £2.43 million (S$4.98 million), with chief executives at £3.34 million, employment research firm Incomes Data Services (IDS), part of Thomson Reuters, said.

Earnings pegged to long-term incentive plans rose by 44 per cent and bonus payments were 14 per cent higher, while basic salaries gained only 2.5 per cent over the period.

"Salary rises may be modest but this can be more than made up for by the receipt of incentive payments. When such incentives pay out, they can pay out substantial sums, giving a significant boost to directors' earnings," said Steve Tatton, editor of the IDS report.

The report also showed the gap between chief executive pay and the rest of the workforce had widened significantly. Heads of FTSE 100 companies earned 120 times more than full-time employees on average, against a 47 per cent difference in 2000.

Chief executives at media, marketing and telecoms companies earned most, with a median of £6.98 million a year, while CEOs at retail and distribution companies were the lowest in the rankings with a median of £1.31 million.

For the average employee, pay including employee bonuses rose 0.6 per cent year-on-year from May to July.