Employee benefit expense
The staff costs relating to pensions, reorganisations and other long-term employee benefits were as follows:
Employee benefit expense for pensions, reorganisation and other long-term employee benefits
A note on the reorganisation costs is included in note  on provisions for employee benefits.
For further details of the other long-term employee benefits, reference is made to the disclosures in note . The external staff costs amounted to €125 million (2014: €115 million) and related to contract staff for specific projects and to fill vacancies. The costs of external personnel relating to 2014 have been restated for comparison purposes in connection with the treatment of Endinet Groep as discontinued operations (IFRS 5).
The number of staff employed by Alliander, based on a 38-hour working week (FTEs), is shown in the table below:
Number of permanent staff (FTEs)
The number of permanent staff employed in discontinued operations at year-end 2015 amount to 265 FTEs (2014: 293 FTEs).
On 1 January 2013, the Public and Semi-Public Sector Executives' Pay (Standards) Act (Wet normering bezoldiging topfunctionarissen publieke en semipublieke sector / WNT) entered into force. This new act contains rules for the maximum remuneration for board members and senior executives in the public and semi-public sectors. The WNT limit is set annually by ministerial order.
The WNT is applicable to the network operators Liander N.V. and Endinet B.V., which are required to report on the remuneration of Management Board members and senior executives. In addition, transparency is requested on the remuneration of other employees, including temporary hires, and termination payments exceeding a set limit in the reporting year. The separate annual reports of both network operators, which are to be published in the second quarter of 2016, will contain disclosures on the WNT requirements applicable to the network operators.
Remuneration of the Management Board and the Supervisory Board
The Remuneration Report sets out the remuneration policy, its implementation and the remuneration of the Management Board and the Supervisory Board. These three sections can be found in article 'Corporate governance' of the 2015 Annual Report. The remuneration of the members of the Management Board is disclosed in the following table.
Total gross annual remuneration chargeable to the financial year
The fixed salary concerns the actual payment per annum, without amounts accrued for other remuneration elements. The increase in the fixed salary in 2015 compared with the preceding year is essentially explained by the fact that pension accrual on that part of the salary in excess of €100,000 per annum ceased to be allowed with effect from 2015. This part of the pension accrual has therefore been included in the fixed salary as from the beginning of 2015. The short-term variable remuneration concerns the amount earned in respect of the reporting period. For 2014, the Supervisory Board made use of its discretionary power to reduce the short-term variable remuneration. The long-term variable remuneration concerns a payment that has been earned over a period of three years. As at year-end 2015, the long-term variable remuneration figure concerns the period 2013–2015. For the 2014 reporting period, the figure concerns the period 2012–2014. Details of the short-term and long-term variable remuneration calculations are contained in the Remuneration Report.
With effect from 1 January 2015, pensionable salary has been limited to a maximum of €100,000, i.e. from 2015 onwards, there is no pension accrual on that part of the salary in excess of €100,000. This explains the lower pension contributions and the increase in fixed salaries in 2015.
Social security charges and other remuneration elements
In addition to the normal social security charges and contributions applicable to the company, the members of the Management Board have a right to an employer's contribution towards the group health insurance premium, premiums connected with the personalised package of secondary conditions of employment (Dutch acronym: PBA), an expense allowance, the use of a company car and, up to year-end 2014, the crisis levy.
Remuneration of the Supervisory Board
The differences in remuneration are partly connected with an individual Supervisory Board member’s tenure, the office held and/or applicability of the WNT restrictions.