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Employee compensation plans that pay off.

This story appears in the April 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As Pat Byrnes studied the financials for his company, Actuarial Consultants Inc., he could not escape one disheartening fact: Profitability for his Torrance, California-based pension consulting firm was slipping. "Expenses were going up, and profitability was going down," says Byrnes, the company's president and co-owner.

The root problem: Year in, year out, employee salaries kept rising due to annual cost-of-living increases, but tough competition forced Byrnes to keep a lid on the fees he charged client companies. "So I drew a line in the sand and said, `There has to be a better way to compensate employees,' " says Byrnes.

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