The Wesfarmers chairman just gave his directors a pay rise more than double the national average

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The board of directors at Wesfamers, Australia’s biggest private employer and the owner of Coles and Bunnings, have given themselves a pay rise.

According to the annual report released today, non-executive directors fees were increased by 4.5% and the chairman’s by 2.5% from January this year.

The board says the decision was made, after a review with the assistance of 3 degrees consulting, to “remain competitive in the market, having regard to the size, complexity and market position of the group”.

Chairman Michael Chaney now gets $770,000 a year and directors $230,000 each.

However, a director can earn more if they also sit on the board of a subsidiary such as Officeworks.

The directors have a pool of $3.6 million, the size of which was approved by shareholders in 2015, from which they are paid fees. In 2017, they used $2.92 million of that.

The decision comes after Wesfarmers decided to pay it incoming CEO less than its outgoing chief. Rob Scott’s package will be about $3 million less than Richard Goyder’s when he takes over in November. Goyders’s pay in 2017 was $12.1 million.

Statutory net profit after tax in 2017 at Wesfarmers was $2.87 billion, a rise of 605.9%, but excluding significant items in 2016, profit rose 22.1%.

Here’s what all the directors received in 2017:

Source: Wesfarmers annual report