Executive Compensation: SEC Regulations and Congressional Proposals

Publication Date: January 2007

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Business



Concern about shareholder value, corporate governance, and the economic and social impact of escalating pay for corporate executives has led to a controversy regarding the practices of paying these executives. On July 26, 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to adopt revisions to its rules on disclosure of executive compensation. On December 22, 2006, the SEC announced that it had adopted changes in the July 26 rules. These December 22 changes have become somewhat controversial, with opponents saying that they obfuscate executive compensation and with proponents saying that the changes are necessary to give a truly accurate picture of executive compensation. Congressional proposals concerning executive pay have thus far not focused on the SEC rules. Instead, proposals have been made concerning additional disclosure of executive compensation and limiting the amount of deferred compensation for tax purposes. This report will be updated as warranted.