From the Fifth Third Bancorp 2020 ESG Report: Retaining Employees

Sep 17, 2021 1:30 PM ET

As part of our ongoing commitment to inclusion and diversity, Fifth Third’s total compensation programs are grounded in a philosophy that ensures all employees are paid fairly and equitably, and in compliance with the law.

Our pay philosophy is designed to:

  • Attract and retain top talent and high performers that will drive our business strategy;
  • Effectively manage risk within incentive programs designed to pay for performance;
  • Consider applicable regulatory expectations as well as our corporate values and behavioral expectations when making compensation awards;
  • Align with the creation of long-term shareholder value.

We continuously analyze our pay, accounting for factors like employee role, tenure, time in position and geography. Our analysis shows that, on average, women are paid more than 99% of what men are paid, and minorities are paid more than 99% of what non-minorities are paid. We also continuously analyze our compensation programs and practices to help ensure that all employees have equal opportunity to maximize their potential. In the unlikely event we encounter a pay disparity that is not explained by job-related factors, an adjustment is made.

Annually, we use competitive benchmarking data provided by top industry consultants to ensure the ongoing competitiveness of our total compensation program, including base salary ranges and short and long-term incentives. In 2019, we increased our minimum hourly wage from $15 to $18. This benefited approximately 4,900 employees—nearly 25% of our workforce—primarily in retail branches and operations functions such as customer contact centers. In our Ohio, Michigan and Illinois regions, our minimum wage is up to 200% higher than the state minimum wage*. It represents an additional investment by the Bank of approximately $15 million per year to help our employees succeed at work and at home.

Fifth Third also continues to honor a footprint-wide ban on salary history, which means that we will not ask for a candidate’s current salary to use as a factor in determining an employment offer. This approach enables us to immediately reduce historical gender or racial pay inequities.

In addition to compensation, Fifth Third offers a holistic suite of benefits that demonstrates our commitment to our employees’ physical, financial and personal health and well-being.

We offer competitive and comprehensive traditional benefits including medical, dental and vision insurance (benefits packages and eligibility vary for full-time and part-time employees who are scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week). Medical plans cover preventive screenings at 100% because we know early detection provides the best outcomes. Preventive screening rates at Fifth Third for breast cancer and prostate specific antigen exceed industry benchmarks.

Our myWellness program offers employees the opportunity to earn up to $1,800 per year for participating in financial and physical wellness activities, ranging from completing annual preventive screenings to engaging in step challenges to attending financial planning webinars. Employees are supported in their wellness journey by a network of 200 Fifth Third employees who volunteer as wellness champions. Memberships to fitness facilities as well as programs like WW (formerly Weight Watchers) also are subsidized.

Helping employees improve and maintain their mental well-being is supported by our employee assistance program. Employees and family members can receive up to six confidential counseling sessions annually and also can take advantage of a user-friendly app with a variety of wellness-related tools. Personalized coaching and resources from program partners that support our employees and their families are also available.

Like our customers, our employees seek guidance in achieving their financial goals. Our financial wellness program provided by Ayco offers employees and their spouses/partners personal financial coaching, educational tools and resources. Student debt educational tools and refinancing options were recently launched to employees through our partnerships with Empower Retirement, our 401(k) provider, and CommonBond, a leading financial technology company.

Fifth Third offers a 401(k) retirement plan that pays a match up to 7% of an employee’s compensation. Employee participation in the plan increased from 80% to 83% in 2020, and all employees may contribute up to the maximum allowable by law. A variety of investment options is available to employees through the plan’s core funds and a self-directed brokerage feature. When employees require a leave of absence from work, our programs are ready to assist.

Parental bonding leave enables all full- and eligible part-time employees welcoming a new child to receive four weeks of time away with full pay to bond with their child. The leave is for both mothers and fathers and includes new family additions through birth, adoption, foster care and surrogacy. This is in addition to the six-week to eight-week maternity leave benefit. Our enhanced paid military leave policy provides 20 days of leave per year; by comparison, the federal government offers 15 days of paid military leave annually. This benefit provides paid leave for any kind of military duty, including drills and training. The policy enables employees to serve our country while continuing to support their families and stay on their career path.

To help employees navigate work and personal priorities, Fifth Third partners with Best Upon Request to offer a free, virtual or on-site concierge for employees. The service helps employees manage a variety of personal tasks such as shopping, coordinating travel and more while meeting work obligations. Our Maternity Concierge offers unique and innovative support for expectant parents, women on maternity leave, adoptive parents and guardians with children up to 1 year of age. The service helps with a number of services including researching child care options, scheduling wellness visits and planning birthday parties.

Our Back-up Care program, offered by Bright Horizons, provides access to high-quality back-up care for children, adult and elderly family members of employees during a lapse or breakdown in normal care arrangements. Both in-home and center-based options are available depending on location. All employees are eligible for 15 days of back-up care per calendar year with nominal copays. In 2020, employees were given double the number of days—up to 30—available to help manage the uncertainty that persisted in the face of the pandemic. We also waived the copay in March and April of 2021. This back-up care program, together with the maternity concierge program, our virtual and on-site concierges, our parental bonding leave, adoption reimbursement policy and other family-friendly benefits, helps support employees and their families as they navigate the obligations of their personal and professional lives. Since the Back-up Care program launched in June 2020, 585 employees registered to get care for 809 children, adults or elders. More than 1,100 days of care were used, saving nearly 682 workdays for employees. Employees in Cincinnati can take advantage of the Bright Horizons at Madisonville Childcare Center which opened in March 2020 and cares for infants and children through kindergarten. Due to the pandemic, the center closed shortly after opening, then reopened in July. Once COVID restrictions are lifted, the center can accommodate 80-90 children.


Please refer to the Social section of this report for the significant measures Fifth Third took to provide employees with a sense of safety, security and certainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Maternity Concierge helps with a number of services including researching child care options, scheduling wellness visits and planning parties.

For more information on how Fifth Third Bancorp engages, develops, retains, and attracts employees, please read the full Fifth Third Bancorp 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance Report.