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GMP CEO Mary Powell To Get $2.1 Million Retirement Package

Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell stands in front of a wall
Henry Epp
Outgoing GMP CEO Mary Powell qualifies for a supplemental executive retirement plan.

When Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell steps down at the end of the year, she’ll qualify for a $2.1 million dollar special retirement benefit.

Six months after she leaves GMP, Powell will get about $700,000 of this supplemental retirement plan; the rest will be paid out over six years, according to the company. That’s in addition to an annual $89,000 GMP pension, and her 401k retirement plan which the company contributed $14,800 to last year.

Supplemental retirement plans are common in the corporate world, but they are no longer offered to top executives at GMP, said spokeswoman Kristin Kelly.

Powell will also earn about $1.4 million this year in salary and incentives. Kelly said that compensation is in the lower range of what peer utility companies pay their CEOs.

“Most of her compensation isn’t guaranteed; it’s considered to be at risk,” Kelly said. “It’s tied to specific results that she has to deliver for customers. And if those results don’t come in, she doesn’t get that pay.”

Kelly cited GMP’s record of maintaining the second lowest rates in New England as evidence that Powell has brought value for Vermonters.

“GMP rates track below the rate of inflation, and that’s delivering for our customers,” she said.

"Most of her compensation isn't guaranteed; it's considered to be at risk. It's tied to specific results that she has to deliver for customers. And if those results don't come in, she doesn't get that pay." - Kristin Kelly, GMP spokeswoman

The costs of Powell’s $589,000 base salary are allocated to GMP’s customers and are recovered in rates, while the utility’s investors cover the $832,000 incentive pay portion, Kelly said.

The $2.1 million supplemental retirement plan is a “wash” for ratepayers, Kelly said. While the money is included in the “rate base” that the company recoups, the funds are also counted as a liability on the company’s books, so there is no impact on customers, she said.

Two public documents disclose executive pay at GMP: a “Form 1” filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and a shareholder proxy for the Valener Energy Company, one of GMP’s Quebec investors. Valener was recently bought by a private company so it’s not clear what records will be available in the future.

The 59-year-old Powell has been CEO for 12 years, and worked at GMP for more than 20. She has not said what her plans are, but has not ruled out a run for political office.

John worked for VPR in 2001-2021 as reporter and News Director. Previously, John was a staff writer for the Sunday Times Argus and the Sunday Rutland Herald, responsible for breaking stories and in-depth features on local issues. He has also served as Communications Director for the Vermont Health Care Authority and Bureau Chief for UPI in Montpelier.
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