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Remuneration of the Executive Board

Composition of the Executive Board

The members of the NS Executive Board are nominated by the Supervisory board and appointed by the shareholder, the Ministry of Finance, for a period of no more than four years . Reappointments can be made for subsequent four-year periods. Eelco van Asch was appointed Director of Operations effective 1 March 2021. Tjalling Smit was reappointed for a 4-year term effective 1 April 2021. In 2021, the Executive Board comprised the following members:



First appointment

End of appointment

Marjan Rintel

Chair and CEO

1 October 20201

30 September 2024

Bert Groenewegen

Finance Director

15 September 2016

14 September 2024

Tjalling Smit

Commerce & Development Director

1 April 2017

31 March 2025

Anneke de Vries

Stations Director

15 October 2019

14 October 2023

Eelco van Asch

Director of Operations

1 March 2021

28 February 2025

  • 1 Marjan Rintel served as Director of Operations since 15 July 2016 before being appointed Chair and CEO.  

In accordance with the remuneration policy, the term of the employment contract coincides with the term of office, with the exception of Ms Rintel. She already had a permanent contract of employment before her first appointment. Pursuant to all employment contracts, the board member and the employer must observe a notice period of two months and four months respectively.

Remuneration policy

Effective 1 January 2020, the Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Dutch State, adopted the new remuneration policy for the NS Executive Board. The policy aims to enable the Supervisory Board to attract and retain highly qualified administrators (from both internal and external sources). The remuneration policy is required to support the objectives and strategy of NS and reflect the public nature of the company. It is based on the principles of the remuneration policy for state participations and complies with the best practice provisions on remuneration laid down in the Dutch Corporate Governance Code.

The pay ratio within the Executive Board is in line with common practice in the external market, depending on the job load for the position concerned. We use the Hay method to determine the job load, which also plays a role in determining remuneration levels for board members. The latter is done on the basis of a comparison with two reference markets: the public or semi-public reference market comprising state participations and transport companies (BNG Bank, COVRA, FMO, Gasunie, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam, KLM, NWB Bank, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, TenneT, Thales, ProRail, RET, GVB and HTM) and the private reference market comprising Dutch companies with board level positions similar in weight to those at NS. The basis for establishing the reference income (base salary and variable remuneration) for Executive Board members is the median for the combination of fixed and variable components in these reference markets, with a ratio of 60% for the public and semi-public and 40% for the private sector. We chose the median as the basis because in both markets the median is stabler across job weight levels than higher or lower market levels. In addition, given the public nature of NS, the 60% versus 40% weighting for public/semi-public versus private takes into account a lower market level than the median relative to the overall Dutch market.
The non-variable remuneration of Executive Board members is based on 100/120th of the reference income, and the remuneration policy’s impact on long-term value creation is taken into account. For NS, this means that the remuneration is determined with due regard for NS’s position in society, its obligations under the franchise and the long-term challenges for mobility in the Netherlands.
On premature termination of the employment contract at the initiative of NS, a severance payment cannot exceed one year’s base salary. The Supervisory Board decides whether a severance payment is to be paid and, if so, what the amount should be. Executive Board members who are not reappointed will not receive a severance payment, unless the law provides otherwise.

Performance agreements for Executive Board members

The Executive Board has drawn up performance agreements that comprise collective and individual targets as laid down in so-called target letters. While the results do not give entitlement to any reward (see Variable Remuneration), they do form part of the assessment process. The individual targets are related to the portfolio for which the Executive Board member concerned is responsible. The table below presents the collective targets that applied for 2021.






Public transport customer barometer



Passenger punctuality 5-min. main rail network



More passengers in the train/occupancy rate




Progress of financial transformation
The Executive Board is responsible for the realisation of total savings at the end of 2021.

€105 million


Conduct & culture

NS is working on an open and safe working environment, in which we hold each other accountable, are honest with each other, make conscious choices, weigh up risks and help each other.


1. Manager demonstrates exemplary behaviour on long-term behavioural change

65% or more


2. Diversity

Each Executive Board member has one direct report or one management position filled by an employee from a non-Western background


Sickness absence


Demonstrably seeking sustainable substantial decrease of sickness absence.


Percentage of employees with good or excellent work capacity



Staff sickness absence (after correction for light duty)



Sickness absence operation (after correction for light duty)





Risk Assessments and Evaluations include a corresponding action plan carried out in accordance with the occupational health & safety policy.



Inclusiveness & Sustainability


Sustainable jobs: Number of sustainable jobs created by 2021

125 jobs


Within the ‘Customer’ objective, the target for punctuality for passengers has been achieved. The financial objective has also been achieved. Within the 'Conduct and Culture’ objective, the percentages for labour potential, safety, and inclusiveness & sustainability have been achieved. The result of the Public Transport Customer Barometer will be published on 21 March 2022. The other objectives have not been achieved.

Structure of the remuneration package

In response to the proposal submitted by the Remuneration and Nominations Committee and upon the voluntary request of all members of the Executive Board, in June 2020 the Supervisory Board decided to reduce the base salary of Executive Board members temporarily by 10%, over the period from 1 July 2020 up to and including 31 December 2021. This measure has since been extended until 1 July 2022. In addition, the pay increases pursuant to the CLA, of 1.2% effective 1 April 2020 and 1.6% effective 1 April 2021 were not implemented. In accordance with the remuneration policy, these pay increases were resumed with effect from 1 January 2022.
In the financial statements, the section entitled Remuneration of the Executive Board <link> includes a table itemising the overall remuneration for 2021.

Base salary

In 2021, the agreed gross annual base salary including holiday allowance for the members of the Executive Board was as follows:



Base salary as at 31 December 2021 (EUR)2

Base salary earned 2021 (EUR)

Marjan Rintel

Chair and CEO



Bert Groenewegen

Finance Director



Tjalling Smit

Commerce & Development Director



Anneke de Vries

Stations Director



Eelco van Asch1

Director of Operations



  • 1 Eelco van Asch took up his position as Director of Operations on 1 March 2021.
  • 2 Exclusive of CLA-related increases based on the CLA of NS.

The difference between the base salary and the base salary actually received is explained by the wage restraint measure (10% reduction).

Variable remuneration

In their employment contracts, all members of the Executive Board waived entitlement to variable remuneration. They did not receive any compensation for this via their base salary. In accordance with the remuneration policy, the Supervisory Board could consider granting the variable remuneration once again. The variable remuneration cannot exceed 20% of the annual base salary.


The members of the Executive Board are also members of the NS pension plan. The employer pays two thirds of the total pension costs. The tax-facilitated pension build-up has been capped since 1 January 2015. The capping threshold for 2021 is €112,189 gross. All new and existing employees, including Executive Board members, whose salary exceeds that level will receive a gross allowance of 12% over the part of their income in excess of that threshold. A transitional scheme applies for members who were 46 or older - and in the employment of NS - on 1 January 2015. They receive a supplementary age-related contribution. This transitional scheme, as described in chapter 10, Article 26a of the NS CLA, currently only applies to Marjan Rintel .

Other benefits

The other benefits are equal to those that apply to all NS employees. Executive Board members are additionally entitled to an appropriate expense allowance, a lease car (or mobility budget allowance) and the use of communication devices. For business-related travel, two chauffeur-driven director’s cars are available to all Executive Board members. NS takes this to include business trips not directly associated with the relevant member's appointment, but where private use is unavoidable given the combination with the obligations associated with that member's position at NS. All Executive Board members are subject to an additional tax liability for the use of the director's cars. Given that the private use of those cars is unavoidable and arises from the relevant member's position with NS, they will receive a net allowance that equals the wage tax due on the amount of the addition.

NS has not extended any loans, advances or guarantees to the Executive Board.

Pay ratios

As of 2021, under the Corporate Governance Code the pay ratios are calculated on the basis of the remuneration of the Chair and CEO and the average annual pay1. This has resulted in a pay ratio for 2021 of 7. The internal pay ratio in 2020 was 8, based on the median.

  • 1 The average annual remuneration of NS and Abellio Nederland employees for the 2021 calendar year is determined by dividing the total wage costs in the financial year concerned by the average number of FTEs during that year. Costs of external staff over the period from October 2020 up to and including September 2021 are included in this calculation on a pro rata basis, to the extent the external staff was hired for at least three months of the financial year.
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