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Aqua America DEF 14A 2011

Documents found in this filing:

  1. Def 14A
  2. Graphic
  3. Graphic
  4. Graphic
aquaamerica_def14a.htm
SCHEDULE 14A
 
(Rule 14a-101)
 
INFORMATION REQUIRED IN PROXY STATEMENT
 
SCHEDULE 14A INFORMATION
 
Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Amendment No. )
 
Filed by the Registrant [X]  
Filed by a Party other than the Registrant [   ]     
     
Check the appropriate box:         
[   ]        Preliminary Proxy Statement [   ]  Soliciting Material Under Rule 14a-12
[   ]   Confidential, For Use of the
Commission Only (as permitted
by Rule 14a-6(e)(2))
   
[X]   Definitive Proxy Statement  
[   ]   Definitive Additional Materials  

  AQUA AMERICA, INC.  
  (Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)  
     
       
 
(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement, if Other Than the Registrant)
 

Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):
[X]        No fee required.
[   ]
 
Fee computed on table below per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(4) and 0-11.
    1)         Title of each class of securities to which transaction applies:
         
    2)   Aggregate number of securities to which transaction applies:
         
    3)   Per unit price or other underlying value of transaction computed pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 0-11 (set forth the amount on which the filing fee is calculated and state how it was determined):
         
    4)   Proposed maximum aggregate value of transaction:
         
    5)   Total fee paid:
         
[   ]
 
Fee paid previously with preliminary materials:
[   ]
 
Check box if any part of the fee is offset as provided by Exchange Act Rule 0-11(a)(2) and identify the filing for which the offsetting fee was paid previously. Identify the previous filing by registration statement number, or the form or schedule and the date of its filing.
    1)   Amount previously paid:
         
    2)   Form, Schedule or Registration Statement No.:
         
    3)   Filing Party:
         
    4)   Date Filed:
         


 

AQUA AMERICA, INC.
762 W. Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010

______________________________________
 
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
To Be Held May 12, 2011
______________________________________
 
 
TO THE SHAREHOLDERS OF
AQUA AMERICA, INC.:
 
     Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of Shareholders of AQUA AMERICA, INC. (the “Company”) will be held at the Drexelbrook Banquet Facility & Corporate Events Center, 4700 Drexelbrook Drive, Drexel Hill, PA 19026 at 10:00 A.M., local time, on Thursday, May 12, 2011, for the following purposes:
 
  1.   To elect three directors to the class of directors for terms expiring at the 2014 Annual Meeting;
               
  2.   To ratify the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for the 2011 fiscal year;
   
  3.   To hold an advisory vote on the Company’s executive compensation programs as disclosed in this Proxy Statement;
   
  4.   To hold an advisory vote on whether the frequency of the advisory vote on the Company’s executive compensation programs should be every 1, 2 or 3 years;
   
  5.   To consider and act upon a shareholder proposal requesting that the Board of Directors declassify the Board, if properly presented at the meeting; and
   
  6.   To transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting or any adjournments or postponements thereof.
 
     Only shareholders of record at the close of business on March 14, 2011 will be entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the meeting and at any adjournments or postponements thereof.
 
By Order of the Board of Directors,
 
ROY H. STAHL
Secretary

April 1, 2011
 
REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU PLAN TO ATTEND THE MEETING, AS A SHAREHOLDER YOU ARE URGED TO COMPLETE, SIGN AND RETURN THE ENCLOSED PROXY CARD IN THE ENVELOPE PROVIDED, WHICH REQUIRES NO POSTAGE IF MAILED IN THE UNITED STATES, OR VOTE ELECTRONICALLY, THROUGH THE INTERNET OR BY TELEPHONE, BY FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS SET OUT ON THE PROXY CARD.
 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
        Page
PURPOSE OF MEETING   1
VOTING AT THE MEETING   2
PROPOSAL NO. 1 ELECTION OF DIRECTORS   4
       INFORMATION REGARDING NOMINEES AND DIRECTORS   4
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE   12
       DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE   12
       BOARD LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE   13
       OVERSIGHT OF RISK MANAGEMENT   14
       CODE OF ETHICS   15
       POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR APPROVAL OF RELATED PERSON TRANSACTIONS   15
       BOARD AND BOARD COMMITTEES   15
OWNERSHIP OF COMMON STOCK   17
EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION   19
       COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS   19
       COMPENSATION COMMITTEE REPORT   31
       CURRENT COMPENSATION   32
       RETIREMENT PLANS AND OTHER POST-EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS   38
       NONQUALIFIED DEFERRED COMPENSATION   41
       POTENTIAL PAYMENTS UPON TERMINATION OR CHANGE-IN-CONTROL   42
DIRECTOR COMPENSATION   49
REPORT OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE   50
PROPOSAL NO. 2 RATIFICATION OF THE APPOINTMENT OF    
              PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP AS THE INDEPENDENT    
              REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR THE COMPANY    
              FOR THE 2011 FISCAL YEAR   51
PROPOSAL NO. 3 ADVISORY VOTE ON THE COMPANY’S    
              EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION PROGRAMS   52
PROPOSAL NO. 4 ADVISORY VOTE ON THE FREQUENCY OF    
              THE ADVISORY VOTE ON THE COMPANY’S EXECUTIVE    
              COMPENSATION PROGRAMS   52
PROPOSAL NO. 5 SHAREHOLDER PROPOSAL   53
SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS FOR 2012 ANNUAL MEETING   56
PROCEDURES FOR NOMINATING OR RECOMMENDING FOR    
              NOMINATION CANDIDATES FOR DIRECTOR   56
CONSIDERATION OF DIRECTOR CANDIDATES   57
COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE COMPANY OR INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS   57
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION   58
SECTION 16(a) BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REPORTING COMPLIANCE   58
OTHER MATTERS   58


 

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF PROXY
MATERIALS FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS TO BE HELD ON
MAY 12, 2011
 
The Notice of Annual Meeting, Proxy Statement and 2010 Annual Report to Shareholders are
available at: http://ir.aquaamerica.com/
 
AQUA AMERICA, INC.
762 W. Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010
 
 
     This proxy statement is furnished in connection with the solicitation of proxies by the Board of Directors (the “Board of Directors” or the “Board”) of Aqua America, Inc. (“Aqua America” or the “Company”) to be used at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held Thursday, May 12, 2011 and at any adjournments or postponements thereof (“2011 Annual Meeting” or the “meeting”).
 
     The cost of soliciting proxies will be paid by the Company, which has arranged for reimbursement, at the rate suggested by the New York Stock Exchange, of brokerage houses, nominees, custodians and fiduciaries for the forwarding of proxy materials to the beneficial owners of shares held of record. In addition, the Company has retained Alliance Advisors LLC to assist in the solicitation of proxies from (i) brokers, bank nominees and other institutional holders, and (ii) individual holders of record. The fee paid to Alliance Advisors LLC for normal proxy solicitation is an amount not to exceed $4,500 plus expenses, which will be paid by the Company. Directors, officers and regular employees of the Company may solicit proxies, although no compensation will be paid by the Company for such efforts.
 
     The Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders, this proxy statement and Annual Report to Shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2010, including financial statements and other information with respect to the Company and its subsidiaries (the “Annual Report”), are being sent electronically to those shareholders of record as of March 14, 2011 who requested electronic delivery of these materials and mailed by standard mail, to all other shareholders of record as of March 14, 2011, for the first time on or about April 1, 2011. Additional copies of the Annual Report may be obtained by writing to the Company at the address and in the manner set forth under “Additional Information” on page 58.
 
PURPOSE OF THE MEETING
 
     As the meeting is the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the shareholders of the Company will be requested to:
  • elect three directors to the class of directors for terms expiring at the 2014 Annual Meeting;
     
  • ratify the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for the 2011 fiscal year;
     
  • cast a non-binding advisory vote on the Company’s executive compensation programs;
     
  • cast a non-binding advisory vote on the frequency of the advisory vote on the Company’s executive compensation programs;
     
  • consider and act upon a shareholder proposal requesting that the Board of Directors de-classify the Board, if properly presented at the meeting (the “Shareholder Proposal”); and
     
  • transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting or any adjournments or postponements thereof.

 

VOTING AT THE MEETING
 
General
 
     Holders of shares of the Company’s Common Stock of record at the close of business on March 14, 2011 are entitled to vote at the meeting. As of that date, there were 138,202,083 shares of Common Stock outstanding and entitled to be voted at the meeting. Each shareholder entitled to vote shall have the right to one vote on each matter presented at the meeting for each share of Common Stock outstanding in such shareholder’s name.
 
     The Company’s charter and bylaws provide that the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast by those shareholders present in person or represented by proxy at the meeting is required to take action with respect to any matter properly brought before the meeting on the recommendation of a vote of a majority of the entire Board of Directors. The Company’s bylaws also provide that the affirmative vote of at least three quarters of the votes which all voting shareholders, voting as a single class, are entitled to cast is required to take action with respect to any other matter properly brought before the meeting.
 
Manner of Voting
 
     Shares cannot be voted at the meeting unless the holder of record is present in person or by proxy. The enclosed proxy card is a means by which a shareholder may authorize the voting of his or her shares at the meeting if they are unable to attend in person. Alternatively, you may vote electronically, over the Internet or by telephone, following the instructions set out on the proxy card. The shares of Common Stock represented by each properly executed proxy card or electronic proxy will be voted at the meeting in accordance with each shareholder’s direction. Shareholders are urged to specify their choices by marking the appropriate boxes on the enclosed proxy card or electronic proxy. If the proxy card or electronic proxy is signed, but no choice has been specified, the shares will be voted as recommended by the Board of Directors. If any other matters are properly presented at the meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof for action, the proxy holders will vote the proxies (which confer discretionary authority to vote on such matters) in accordance with their judgment.
 
     Execution of the accompanying proxy or voting electronically or by telephone will not affect a shareholder’s right to attend the meeting and vote in person. Any shareholder giving a proxy or voting electronically or by telephone has the right to revoke the proxy or the electronic or telephonic vote by giving written notice of revocation to the Secretary of the Company at any time before the proxy is voted, by executing a proxy bearing a later date, by making a later-dated vote electronically or by telephone or by attending the meeting and voting in person. Attendance at the meeting will not, by itself, revoke a previously granted proxy.
 
Quorum
 
     A quorum of shareholders is necessary to hold a valid meeting for the transaction of business. The holders of a majority of the shares entitled to vote, present in person or represented by proxy at the meeting, constitute a quorum. Abstentions and “broker non-votes” are counted as present and entitled to vote for purposes of determining a quorum.
 
Broker Non-Votes
 
     A “broker non-vote” occurs when a bank, broker or other holder of record holding shares for a beneficial owner does not vote on a particular proposal because that holder does not have discretionary voting power under New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) rules for that particular item and has not received instructions from the beneficial owner. If you are a beneficial owner, your bank, broker or other holder of record is permitted under NYSE rules to vote your shares on the ratification of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the 2011 fiscal year, even if the record holder does not receive voting instructions from you. The record holder may not vote on the election of directors, the Company’s executive compensation program, the frequency of the advisory vote on the Company’s compensation program or the Shareholder Proposal without instructions from you. Without your voting instructions on these matters, a broker non-vote will occur.
 
2
 

 

Proposal No. 1 – Election of Directors
 
     Under the Company’s charter and bylaws, directors are elected by a plurality of the votes cast at the meeting. A plurality means that the three director nominees receiving the most votes FOR election to a director position will be elected as directors. Votes may be cast FOR or WITHHOLD for each nominee. WITHHOLD votes and broker non-votes will be excluded entirely from the vote to elect directors and will have no effect, other than for purposes of determining the presence of a quorum. Thus, the three director nominees with the most FOR votes will be elected at the meeting.
 
Proposal No. 2 – Ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for the 2011 fiscal year
 
     Under the Company’s charter and bylaws, the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast by those shareholders present in person or by proxy at the meeting is required to ratify the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for the 2011 fiscal year. Abstentions will not be considered votes cast on this proposal and, therefore, will have no effect, other than for purposes of determining the presence of a quorum.
 
Proposal No. 3 – Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation
 
     Because the vote is advisory, it will not be binding upon the Company, the Board of Directors or the Executive Compensation Committee. The Board of Directors and the Executive Compensation Committee, which is comprised of independent directors, value the opinions of the Company’s shareholders and expect to take into account the outcome of the vote when considering future executive compensation decisions to the extent they can determine the cause or causes of any significant negative voting results.
 
Proposal No. 4 – Advisory Vote on the Frequency of the Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation
 
     Because the vote is advisory, it will not be binding upon the Company, Board of Directors or the Executive Compensation Committee. However, the Board of Directors and the Executive Compensation Committee will take into account the outcome of the vote when considering the frequency of future advisory votes on the Company’s executive compensation programs.
 
Proposal No. 5 – Shareholder Proposal
 
     Under the Company’s charter and bylaws, the affirmative vote of at least three quarters of the votes which all voting shareholders, voting as a single class, are entitled to cast is required to approve this proposal because it is not being brought before the meeting on the recommendation of a majority of the Board of Directors. Abstentions and broker non-votes will not be considered votes cast on this proposal and, therefore, will have no effect, other than for purposes of determining the presence of a quorum.
 
     Since the Shareholder Proposal is presented in the form of a request to the Board of Directors, approval of the Shareholder Proposal will not have the effect of requiring the Company to de-classify the Board of Directors, but will represent simply an expression of the wishes of the shareholders on that subject. The Board of Directors would still be required by statute to decide whether it would be in the best interests of the Company to de-classify the Board of Directors and could decide in the exercise of its business judgment not to have the Company de-classify the Board of Directors as requested in the Shareholder Proposal.
 
 
3
 

 

(PROPOSAL NO. 1)
 
ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
 
     The Board of Directors is divided into three classes. One class is elected each year to hold office for a three-year term and until successors of such class are duly elected and qualified, except in the event of death, resignation or removal. The Company is required by its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to maintain the size of its classes of directors as nearly equal in number as possible.
 
     In April 2009, Dr. Constantine Papadakis, a member of the Board of Directors since 2005, passed away unexpectedly. In July 2009, Mr. Glanton, Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee, recommended to the Corporate Governance Committee that Mr. Mario Mele, President of Fidelio Insurance Company, be appointed to the Board of Directors to fulfill the unexpired term of Dr. Papadakis on the Board of Directors. At its meeting on July 31, 2009, the Corporate Governance Committee unanimously approved the nomination of Mr. Mele for appointment to the Board of Directors and recommended his appointment to the Board of Directors. On August 4, 2009, the Board of Directors considered the qualifications of Mr. Mele and unanimously approved his appointment to the Board of Directors to the class of directors with terms expiring at the 2011 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the meeting at which Dr. Papadakis’ term would have expired.
 
     In accordance with the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, the Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee reported to the Corporate Governance Committee that Mary C. Carroll, Mario Mele and Ellen T. Ruff, the three directors with terms expiring at the 2011 Annual Meeting would be willing to serve on the Board of Directors if re-elected. The Corporate Governance Committee reviewed the qualifications of the three directors in relation to the criteria for candidates for nomination for election to the Board of Directors under the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines. Mr. Glanton recommended to the Corporate Governance Committee, the Corporate Governance Committee voted to recommend to the Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors approved, the nomination of Ms. Carroll, Mr. Mele and Ms. Ruff for election to the class of directors to be elected at the 2011 Annual Meeting.
 
     Therefore, three directors, Ms. Carroll, Mr. Mele and Ms. Ruff, will stand for election by a plurality of the votes cast at the 2011 Annual Meeting, and six directors have terms ending at either the 2012 or 2013 Annual Meetings, depending on the period remaining in each of their terms. At the 2011 Annual Meeting, proxies in the accompanying form, properly executed, will be voted for the election of the three nominees listed below, unless authority to do so has been withheld in the manner specified in the instructions on the proxy card or the record holder does not have discretionary voting power under the NYSE rules (see “Voting At The Meeting – Broker Non-Votes” on page 2). Discretionary authority is reserved to cast votes for the election of a substitute should any nominee be unable or unwilling to serve as a director. Each nominee has stated his willingness to serve and the Company believes that the nominees will be available to serve.
 
     The Board of Directors unanimously recommends that the shareholders vote FOR the election of Ms.Carroll, Mr. Mele and Ms. Ruff as directors.>
 
INFORMATION REGARDING NOMINEES AND DIRECTORS
 
     For each of the three nominees for election as directors at the 2011 Annual Meeting and the six directors in the classes of directors whose terms of office are to expire either at the 2012 Annual Meeting or the 2013 Annual Meeting, set forth below is information as to the positions and offices with the Company held by each, the principal occupation of each during the past five years, the directorships of public companies and other organizations held by each and the experience, qualifications, attributes or skills that, in the opinions of the Corporate Governance Committee and the Board of Directors make the individual qualified to serve as a director of the Company.
 
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NOMINEES FOR ELECTION AT 2011 ANNUAL MEETING
Mary C. Carroll
Bryn Mawr, PA
Director since 1981
       
Biography: Ms. Carroll is a consultant and an advisor to nonprofit corporations, businesses and government agencies and is a well-recognized civic volunteer. She is the Honorary Trade Representative of Nepal and Chairman of the Nepal Foundation. She is a founder, director or trustee of various civic and charitable organizations, including the YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity and the Friends of Patan Hospital. Age: 70.
   
Qualifications: As the Company’s longest serving director, Ms. Carroll has knowledge of the Company’s history and culture. She has been a community leader for 35 years, having served as an officer or member of the board of directors of over 30 local, regional and national non-profit organizations. She has established advisory boards which consulted and worked with the federal government. She has served as founder, President and CEO of organizations involved in economic development, conservation and self-help in Philadelphia and in Nepal, Russia and South Korea. Ms. Carroll has both a unique community-oriented and world perspective. Ms. Carroll has been a member of the Company’s Corporate Governance Committee since 1981. The Board of Directors has determined that Ms. Carroll is an independent director. The Board of Directors views Ms. Carroll’s independence, her knowledge of the company’s history and culture and her demonstrated leadership roles in community activities as important qualifications, skills and experience for the Board of Directors’ conclusion that Ms. Carroll should serve as a director of the Company.
Mario Mele
Ft. Washington, PA
Director since 2009
 
Biography: Mr. Mele is President of Fidelio Insurance Company, a health insurance company specializing in underwriting group dental insurance and President of Dental Delivery Systems, Inc., a dental HMO with over 50,000 enrollees in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Mr. Mele served as Chairman of the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Board of Commissioners from 1992 to 2000. He has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority from 1997 to 2001 and a member of the Board of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board from 1980 to 1987. Age: 69.
   
Qualifications: Mr. Mele has 35 years of experience as the president of a health insurance company and over 20 years of experience in various state and local governmental organizations. He has held leadership roles in various cultural and civic organizations. He also has B.A and M.A. degrees in physics. The Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Mele is an independent director. The Board of Directors views Mr. Mele’s independence, his experience with health insurance issues and state and local government, his science education and his demonstrated leadership roles in business and community activities as important qualifications, skills and experience for the Board of Directors’ conclusion that Mr. Mele should serve as a director of the Company.
 
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NOMINEES FOR ELECTION AT 2011 ANNUAL MEETING
Ellen T. Ruff
Charlotte, NC
Director since 2006
       
Biography: Ms.Ruff was President, Office of Nuclear Development, for Duke Energy Corporation, from December 2008 until her retirement in January 2011. Duke Energy Corporation is a leading energy company focused on electric power and gas distribution operations and other energy services in the Americas. From April 2006 through December 2008, Ms. Ruff was President of Duke Energy Carolinas, an electric utility that provides electricity and other services to customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. Ms. Ruff joined the Duke Energy organization in 1978 and during her career held a number of key positions, including Vice President and General Counsel of Corporate, Gas and Electric Operations, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Duke Energy, Senior Vice President of Asset Management for Duke Power, Senior Vice President of Power Policy and Planning, Group Vice President of Power Policy and Planning and Group Vice President of Planning and External Affairs. Ms. Ruff is a director of Mistras Group, Inc. Age: 62.
   
Qualifications: Ms. Ruff has over 30 years of experience with a major utility company in various management, operations, legal, planning and public affairs positions. Ms. Ruff has lived and worked in North Carolina, an important area of the Company’s operations, for many years. Ms. Ruff has served as a member of the Company’s Executive Compensation Committee since 2006. The Board of Directors has determined that Ms. Ruff is an independent director. The Board of Directors views Ms. Ruff’s independence, her experience with various aspects of the utility industry, her knowledge of North Carolina and her demonstrated leadership roles in business and community activities as important qualifications, skills and experience for the Board of Directors’ conclusion that Ms. Ruff should serve as a director of the Company.
 
6
 

 

DIRECTORS CONTINUING IN OFFICE WITH TERMS EXPIRING IN 2012
Nicholas DeBenedictis
Ardmore, PA

Director since 1992
       
Biography: Mr. DeBenedictis has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Company since July 1992 and Chairman of the Board since May 1993. He also serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company’s principal subsidiaries, including Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. Between April 1989 and June 1992, he served as Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs of PECO Energy Company (now known as Exelon). From December 1986 to April 1989, he served as President of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and from 1983 to 1986 he served as the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources. Mr. DeBenedictis is a director of Exelon Corporation and P.H. Glatfelter Company and served as a director of Met-Pro Corporation until February 2010. He also serves on the Boards of Pennsylvania area non-profit, civic and business organizations. Age: 65.
   
Qualifications: In addition to his knowledge and experience as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since 1992 and his prior experience as a senior executive of a major electric utility, Mr. DeBenedictis has experience as the head of Pennsylvania’s environmental regulatory agency. He serves as a director of two other public companies, including as a member of the corporate governance, audit and compensation committee of those companies. Mr. DeBenedictis has also held leadership positions with various, educational, civic and charitable institutions. The Board of Directors views Mr. DeBenedictis’ experience with various aspects of the utility industry and his demonstrated leadership roles in business and community activities as important qualifications, skills and experience for the Board of Directors’ conclusion that Mr. DeBenedictis should serve as a director of the Company.
 
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DIRECTORS CONTINUING IN OFFICE WITH TERMS EXPIRING IN 2012
Richard H. Glanton
Philadelphia, PA
Director since 1995
       
Biography: Mr. Glanton is Chairman of the Philadelphia Television Network, a privately-held media company and Managing Member of ElectedFace LLC, an on-line service that connects people with their elected officials. Mr. Glanton was Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Exelon Corporation from 2003 to 2008. From 1983 to 2003 he was a partner at the law firms of Wolf Block LLP (1983 to 1986) and Reed Smith LLP (1986 to 2003). Mr. Glanton is a director of The GEO Group, Inc. and Mistras Group, Inc. Age: 64.
   
Qualifications: Mr. Glanton has more than 25 years of legal experience in law firms and 13 years of executive experience as President of The Barnes Foundation for more than eight years from 1990 to 1998 and at Exelon. Mr. Glanton has approximately 28 years of continuous experience serving on boards of publicly traded companies. He has served as a director on boards of five publicly-traded companies, four of which are traded on the NYSE and one, CGU is traded, on the United Kingdom Stock Exchange. He served as a Director of CGU of North America, a British-based Insurance Company, from 1983 to 2003 when it was sold to White Mountain Group of Exeter New Hampshire and Berkshire Hathaway. He was a member of both its Executive and Audit Committees during his 20-year tenure on that board. From 1990 until 2003, he served as Director of PECO Energy and Exelon Corporation Boards until he resigned to assume a senior management position within the Company at the request of its Chairman. He served on Executive, Audit and Governance Committees of PECO/Exelon. He has been a director of the GEO Group since 1998, where he serves on its three Member Executive Committee, and as Chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee and a Member of its Governance and Compensation Committees. He has served as Chairman of the Aqua America’s Corporate Governance Committee since 2005. The Board has determined that Mr. Glanton is an independent director. The Board of Directors views Mr. Glanton’s independence, his experience in utility acquisitions, his experience as a director of other publicly-traded companies and his demonstrated leadership roles in other business activities as important qualifications, skills and experience for the Board of Directors’ conclusion that Mr. Glanton should serve as a director of the company.
 
8
 

 

DIRECTORS CONTINUING IN OFFICE WITH TERMS EXPIRING IN 2012
Lon R. Greenberg
Wyndmoor, PA
Director since 2005
       
Biography: Mr. Greenberg has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of UGI Corporation since August 1996 and Chief Executive Officer since August 1995. He was formerly President (July 1994 to August 2005), Vice Chairman of the Board (1995 to 1996) and Senior Vice President – Legal and Corporate Development (1989 to 1994) of UGI Corporation. Mr. Greenberg is a member of the Board of Trustees of Temple University and the Temple University Health System. Mr. Greenberg also serves as a director of UGI Utilities, Inc. and AmeriGas Propane, Inc. Age: 60.
   
Qualifications: Mr. Greenberg has over 20 years of experience in various executive, legal and corporate development roles with a major gas utility company and international distributor of propane. He is also Chairman of the nation’s largest retail propane marketer. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of a major university in Philadelphia and the university’s health system. Mr. Greenberg has served as a member of the Company’s Executive Compensation Committee since 2005 and a member of the Company’s Audit Committee since 2009. Mr. Greenberg has also held leadership positions with various civic and charitable institutions. The Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Greenberg is an independent director, financially literate and an audit committee financial expert within the meaning of applicable U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) rules. The Board of Directors views Mr. Greenberg’s independence, his experience with various aspects of the utility industry, his experience as an executive of a non-utility business and his demonstrated leadership roles in business and community activities as important qualifications, skills and experience for the Board of Directors’ conclusion that Mr. Greenberg should serve as a director of the Company.
 
9
 

 

DIRECTORS CONTINUING IN OFFICE WITH TERMS EXPIRING IN 2013
Richard L. Smoot
Radnor, PA
Director since 1997
     
Biography: In 2002, Mr. Smoot retired as Regional Chairman Advisory Board Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, The PNC Financial Services Group, a position he held since 2001. From 1991 through 2000, Mr. Smoot served as President and Chief Executive Officer of PNC Bank in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and its predecessor, Provident National Bank. He also served as Executive Vice President responsible for Operations and Data Processing for the Bank from 1987 to 1991. Before joining PNC Bank in 1987, Mr. Smoot served 10 years as First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Mr. Smoot retired as Chairman of The Philadelphia Orchestra in December 2005 and as Chairman of The Settlement Music School in July 2005. Mr. Smoot is also a director of P.H. Glatfelter Company, Southco Inc. and J.J. White, Incorporated. Age: 70.
   
Qualifications: Mr. Smoot has over 23 years of banking and financial experience, including nine years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of a major regional bank. He has served as Chairman of the Company’s Audit Committee since 1999. He has 15 years of service as a director of another publicly-traded company and serves on that company’s nominating and corporate governance and compensation committees. Mr. Smoot has also held leadership positions with various major cultural institutions in the Philadelphia area. The Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Smoot is an independent director, financially literate and an audit committee financial expert within the meaning of applicable U.S. SEC rules.The Board of Directors views Mr. Smoot’s independence, his banking and financial experience, his experience as a director of other publicly-traded companies and his demonstrated leadership roles in business and community activities as important qualifications, skills and experience supporting the Board of Directors’ conclusion that Mr. Smoot should serve as a director of the Company.
William P. Hankowsky
Philadelphia, PA
Director since 2004
  Biography: Mr. Hankowsky has been Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Property Trust, a fully integrated real estate firm, since 2003. Mr. Hankowsky joined Liberty in 2001 as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer. Prior to joining Liberty, he served for 11 years as President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. Prior to that, he was Commerce Director for the City of Philadelphia. Mr. Hankowsky serves on the Board of Directors of Citizens Financial Group and on various charitable and civic boards, including the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Kimmel Regional Performing Arts Center. Age: 59.

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DIRECTORS CONTINUING IN OFFICE WITH TERMS EXPIRING IN 2013
       
Qualifications: Mr. Hankowsky has over 35 years experience managing public, private and non-profit organizations, including six years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Property Trust, a publicly-traded Real Estate Investment Trust which owns 80 million square feet of office and industrial space in over 20 markets throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. He has experience in financing, acquisitions and real estate matters across the United States. Mr. Hankowsky has also held leadership positions with various cultural and civic institutions in the greater Philadelphia region. Mr. Hankowsky has served as Chairman of the Company’s Executive Compensation Committee since 2005. The Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Hankowsky is an independent director, financially literate and an audit committee financial expert within the meaning of applicable SEC rules. The Board of Directors views Hankowsky’s independence, his experience with real estate, financing and acquisitions and his demonstrated leadership roles in business and community activities as important qualifications, skills and experience supporting the Board of Directors’ conclusion that Mr. Hankowsky should serve as a director of the Company.
Andrew J. Sordoni, III
Forty Fort, PA
Director since 2006
 
Biography: Mr. Sordoni is Chairman of Sordoni Construction Services, Inc., a building construction and management services company and has been an officer of that company since 1967. Mr. Sordoni was Chairman or President of C-TEC Corporation, a diversified telecommunications company from 1979 to 1993. Since 1974 he has headed Sordoni Foundation, Inc. and has served as a director of various business and charitable organizations. He is also a director of Harsco Corporation. Age: 67.
   
Qualifications: Mr. Sordoni has experience as a director and executive of various public and private companies throughout the course of his career, including experience in construction, finance, administration and acquisitions. He was Chairman and President of a regulated public utility company in Pennsylvania. He has been a director of another publicly-traded company since 1988 and is chairman of that company’s nominating committee and a member of its compensation committee and executive committee. Mr. Sordoni has lived and worked in northeast Pennsylvania, an important area of the Company’s operations, for over 50 years. Mr. Sordoni has served as a member of the Company’s Audit Committee since 2006. The Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Sordoni is an independent director, financially literate and an audit committee financial expert within the meaning of applicable SEC rules. The Board of Directors views Mr. Sordoni’s independence, his experience as an executive of a public utility company in Pennsylvania, his experience in construction, finance and acquisitions, his knowledge of northeast Pennsylvania, his experience as a director of another publicly-traded company and his demonstrated leadership roles in business and community activities as important qualifications, skills and experience supporting the Board of Directors’ conclusion that Mr. Sordoni should serve as a director of the Company.

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CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
 
     The Board of Directors operates pursuant to a set of written Corporate Governance Guidelines. Copies of these Guidelines can be obtained free of charge from the Corporate Governance portion of the Investor Relations section of the Company’s Web site, www.aquaamerica.com.
 
DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE
 
     The Board of Directors is, among other things, responsible for determining whether each of the directors is independent in light of any relationship such director may have with the Company. The Board has adopted Corporate Governance Guidelines that contain categorical standards of director independence that are consistent with the listing standards of the NYSE. Under the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, a director will not be deemed independent if:
  • the director is, or has been within the last three years, an employee of the Company, or an immediate family member is, or has been within the last three years an executive officer of the Company;
     
  • (A) the director or an immediate family member is a current partner of a firm that is the Company’s internal or external auditor, (B) the director is a current employee of such a firm, (C) the director has an immediate family member who is a current employee of such a firm and personally works on the Company’s audit, or (D) the director or an immediate family member was within the last three years (but is no longer) a partner or employee of such firm and personally worked on the Company’s audit within that time;
     
  • the director or an immediate family member is or, has been within the last three years, employed as an executive officer of another company where any of the Company’s present executive officers at the same time serves or served on that company’s compensation committee;
     
  • the director has received, or has an immediate family member who has received, during any twelve-month period within the last three years, more than $120,000 in direct compensation from the Company, other than director and committee fees and pension or other forms of deferred compensation for prior service (provided such compensation is not contingent in any way on continued service) and, in the case of an immediate family member who is not an executive officer, other than compensation for service as an employee of the Company;
     
  • the director is an executive officer or employee, or someone in her/his immediate family is an executive officer, of another company that, during any of the other company’s past three fiscal years made payments to, or received payments from, the Company for property or services in an amount which, in any single fiscal year of the other company, exceeded the greater of $1 million or 2% of the other company’s consolidated gross revenues; or
     
  • the director serves as an executive officer of a charitable organization and, during any of the charitable organization’s past three fiscal years, the Company made charitable contributions to the charitable organization in any single fiscal year of the charitable organization that exceeded the greater of $1 million or two percent, of the charitable organization’s consolidated gross revenues.
     In addition to these categorical standards, no director will be considered independent unless the Board of Directors affirmatively determines that the director has no material relationship with the Company (either directly, or as a partner, stockholder, director or officer, of an organization that has a relationship with the Company). When making independence determinations, the Board of Directors broadly considers all relevant facts and circumstances surrounding any relationship between a director or nominee and the Company. Transactions, relationships and arrangements between directors or members of their immediate family and the Company that are not addressed by the categorical standards may be material depending on the relevant facts and circumstances of such transactions, relationships and arrangements. The Board of Directors considered the following transactions, relationships and arrangements in connection with making the independence determinations:
 
       1.       The Company made contributions to charitable or civic organizations for which the following directors serve as directors, trustees or executive officers: Ms. Carroll, Mr. Glanton, Mr. Greenberg, Mr. Hankowsky, Mr. Mele, Mr. Smoot and Mr. Sordoni. None of the Company’s contributions exceeded the greater of $1 million or 2% of the recipient organization’s consolidated gross revenues.
 
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       2.       The Company purchases energy at normal tariff rates from Exelon Corporation, Duke Energy Corporation and UGI Corporation or their affiliates for which Mr. Glanton, Ms. Ruff and Mr. Greenberg, respectively, serve or served as executive officers. The amounts paid by the Company to these other entities are not material to these other entities.
   
  3. The Company provides water service at normal tariff rates to Liberty Property Trust, UGI Corporation, Exelon Corporation and Duke Energy Corporation or their affiliates for which Mr. Hankowsky, Mr. Greenberg, Mr. Glanton and Ms. Ruff, respectively, serve or served as executive officers. The amounts paid to the Company by these other entities are not material to these other entities.
   
  4. Mr. DeBenedictis is a member of the board of directors, but not the compensation committee, of Exelon Corporation, for which Mr. Glanton served as an executive officer until 2008.
   
  5. Mr. DeBenedictis serves on the board of directors of other companies and of civic or charitable organizations with Mr. Greenberg, Mr. Hankowsky, Mr. Smoot and Mr. Sordoni.
   
  6. The Company has banking arrangements with Citizens Financial Group or its affiliates and Mr. Hankowsky is a member of the Board of Directors of Citizens Financial Group. The amounts paid by the Company to these other entities are not material to these entities.
 
     Based on a review applying the categorical standards set forth in the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines and considering the relevant facts and circumstances of the transactions, relationships and arrangements between the directors and the Company described above, the Board of Directors has affirmatively determined that each nominee for director and each of the Company’s other directors, other than Mr. DeBenedictis, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, is independent.
 
     In 2005, the Board of Directors approved share ownership guidelines for each director to own shares of Company common stock having a value equal to five times the annual cash retainer for directors. Directors have up to five years to attain this guideline share ownership level.
 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE
 
     The Board of Director’s current policy is that the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer be held by the same person. The Board of Directors believes that this leadership structure has served the Company well over the years by providing unified leadership and direction and, in combination with the Company’s other corporate governance policies and procedures, is in the best interests of the Company’s shareholders. The Board of Directors may separate these positions in the future should circumstances change, such as in connection with a transition in leadership.
 
     The Board of Directors annually elects a lead independent director to coordinate the activities of the other independent directors and enhance the role of the independent directors in the overall corporate governance of the Company. Unless otherwise determined by the Board, the director elected annually to serve as the Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee will also serve as the lead independent director. The duties and powers of the lead independent director include:
  • presiding at all meetings of the Board at which the Chairman of the Board is not present, including executive sessions of the independent directors;
     
  • serving as liaison between the independent directors and the Chairman of the Board;
     
  • consulting with the Chairman of the Board on meeting agendas and information provided to the Board for meetings, including the authority to add items to the agendas for any such meeting;
     
  • reviewing and approving meeting schedules to assure that there is sufficient time for discussion of all agenda items;
     
  • having the authority to call executive sessions of the independent directors and to prepare the agendas for such executive sessions;
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  • serving as the Board’s liaison for consultation and communications with shareholders on behalf of the independent directors;
     
  • serving as a member of the Executive Committee;
     
  • in the event of the death or incapacity of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, becoming the acting Chairman of the Board until a new Chairman is selected; and
     
  • having the authority (on behalf of the independent directors) to engage such legal, financial or other advisors as the independent directors shall deem appropriate at the expense of the Company and without consultation or the need to obtain approval of any officer of the Company.
OVERSIGHT OF RISK MANAGEMENT
  • The Board oversees management’s risk management activities through a combination of processes.
     
  • Management has developed a Company-wide Enterprise Risk Management process intended to identify, prioritize and monitor key risks that may affect the Company. At least annually, the Board reviews this Enterprise Risk Management process and management presents to the Board a report on the status of the risks and metrics used to monitor those risks. Each risk that is tracked as part of the Enterprise Risk Management process has a member of the Company’s management who serves as the owner and monitor for that risk. The risk owners and monitors report on the status of their respective risks at the quarterly meeting of management’s Compliance Committee. The information discussed at the Compliance Committee meeting is then reviewed by the Disclosure Committee composed of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel, Chief Accounting Officer and Director of Internal Audit. The results of the Disclosure Committee meetings are presented to the Audit Committee each quarter.
     
  • The Audit Committee, in consultation with management, the independent registered public accountants and the internal auditors, discusses the Company’s policies and guidelines regarding risk assessment and risk management as well as the Company’s significant financial risk exposures and the steps management has taken to monitor, control and report such exposures. The Audit Committee meets in executive session with the Director of Internal Audit and with the independent registered public accountants at the end of each Committee meeting. The Company’s General Counsel reports to the Audit Committee quarterly regarding any significant litigation involving the Company and his opinion of the adequacy of the Company’s reserves for such litigation.
     
  • The Executive Compensation Committee considers the risks that may be presented by the structure of the Company’s compensation programs and the metrics used to determine individual compensation under that program. In addition, two members of the Audit Committee are also members of the Executive Compensation Committee, which allows for the sharing of information concerning the risk assessment and risk management reviewed by the Audit Committee with the Executive Compensation Committee in its consideration of the Company’s compensation policies and practices.
     
  • The Corporate Governance Committee leads an annual discussion by the Board of Directors regarding the Company’s strategic plans and management’s performance with respect to such plans.
     
  • The Board believes that the present leadership structure of having the same person serve as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, along with the important risk oversight functions performed by the Audit Committee, the Executive Compensation Committee and the full Board, permits the Board to effectively perform its role in the risk oversight of the Company.
     
  • Management briefs the Board of Directors on acquisitions valued in excess of $2 million and the Board approves every acquisition valued in excess of $10 million or which involves the issuance of the Company’s common stock as part of the acquisition.
     
  • In addition to updates at each Board meeting by operating management regarding any significant operational or environmental matters, management provides the Board with an annual update on environmental matters by the Company’s Chief Environmental Compliance Officer in connection with a presentation by the Company’s Vice President of Engineering on the Company’s proposed capital spending plans.
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CODE OF ETHICS
 
     The Company maintains a Code of Ethical Business Conduct for its directors, officers and employees, including the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer, as defined by the rules adopted by the SEC pursuant to Section 406(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Code of Ethical Business Conduct covers a number of important subjects, including: conflicts of interest; corporate opportunities; fair dealing; confidentiality; protection and proper use of Company assets; compliance with laws, rules and regulations (including insider trading laws); and encouraging the reporting of illegal or unethical behavior. Copies of the Company’s Code of Ethical Business Conduct can be obtained free of charge from the Corporate Governance portion of the Investor Relations section of the Company’s Web site, www.aquaamerica.com. The Company intends to post amendments to or waivers from the Code of Ethical Business Conduct (to the extent applicable to the Company’s executive officers, senior financial officers or directors) on its Web site.
 
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR APPROVAL OF RELATED PERSON TRANSACTIONS
 
     The Board has a written policy with respect to Related Person Transactions to document procedures pursuant to which such transactions are reviewed, approved or ratified. The policy applies to any transaction in which (1) the Company is a participant, (2) any related person has a direct or indirect material interest and (3) the amount involved exceeds $120,000, but excludes certain types of transactions in which the related person is deemed not to have a material interest.
 
     Under this policy, a related person means: (a) any person who is, or at any time since the beginning of the Company’s last fiscal year was, a director, an executive officer or a director nominee; (b) any person known to be the beneficial owner of more than 5% of any class of the Company’s voting securities; (c) any immediate family member of a person identified in items (a) or (b) above, meaning such person’s spouse, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, mother- or father-in-law, son- or daughter-in-law, brother- or sister-in-law or any other individual (other than a tenant or employee) who shares the person’s household; or (d) any entity that employs any person identified in (a), (b) or (c) or in which any person identified in (a), (b) or (c) directly or indirectly owns or otherwise has a material interest.
 
     The Corporate Governance Committee, with assistance from the Company’s General Counsel, is responsible for reviewing, approving and ratifying any related person transaction. In its review and approval or ratification of related person transactions (including its determination as to whether the related person has a material interest in a transaction), the Corporate Governance Committee will consider, among other factors:
  • the nature of the related person’s interest in the transaction;
     
  • the material terms of the transaction, including, without limitation, the amount and type of transaction;
     
  • the importance of the transaction to the related person;
     
  • the importance of the transaction to the Company;
     
  • whether the transaction would impair the judgment of a director or executive officer to act in the best interest of the Company; and
     
  • any other matters the Corporate Governance Committee deems appropriate.
     The Corporate Governance Committee intends to approve only those related person transactions that are in, or are not inconsistent with, the best interests of the Company and its shareholders.
 
BOARD AND BOARD COMMITTEES
 
     The Board of Directors held six meetings in 2010. The Company’s Bylaws provide that the Board of Directors, by resolution adopted by a majority of the whole Board, may designate an Executive Committee and one or more other committees, with each such committee to consist of two or more directors. The Board of Directors annually elects from its members the Executive, Audit, Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance Committees. The Board may also from time to time appoint an ad hoc Finance Committee to approve the terms of the Company’s financings. The Pension Committee, which is comprised of senior management of the Company, reports periodically to the Board of Directors. Ms. Carroll serves as an advisor to the Pension Committee. Each director attended at least
 
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75% of the aggregate of all meetings of the Board and the Committees on which each such director served in 2010. The Board of Directors encourages all directors to attend the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders. All the directors were in attendance at the 2010 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
 
     Each of the standing Committees of the Board of Directors operates pursuant to a written Committee Charter. Copies of these Charters can be obtained free of charge from the Corporate Governance portion of the Investor Relations section of the Company’s Web site, www.aquaamerica.com.
 
     The current members of the standing Committees of the Board of Directors are as follows:
 
Executive Committee       Executive Compensation Committee       Audit Committee
Nicholas DeBenedictis*   William P. Hankowsky*   Richard L. Smoot*
Richard H. Glanton   Lon R. Greenberg   Lon R. Greenberg
William P. Hankowsky   Ellen T. Ruff   William P. Hankowsky
Richard L. Smoot       Andrew J. Sordoni, III
          
Corporate Governance Committee        
Richard H. Glanton*        
Mary C. Carroll        
Mario Mele        
         
         
 
*      
Chairman
       

Executive Committee
 
     The Company’s Bylaws provide that the Executive Committee shall have and exercise all of the authority of the Board in the management of the business and affairs of the Company, with certain specified exceptions. The Executive Committee is intended to serve in the event that action by the Board of Directors is necessary or desirable between regular meetings of the Board, or at a time when convening a meeting of the entire Board is not practical, and to make recommendations to the entire Board with respect to various matters. The Executive Committee met once in 2010. The Executive Committee currently has four members, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors serves as Chairman of the Executive Committee.
 
Audit Committee
 
     The Audit Committee is composed of four directors, whom the Board of Directors has affirmatively determined meet the standards of independence required of audit committee members by the NYSE listing requirements and applicable SEC rules. Based on a review of the background and experience of the members of the Audit Committee, the Board of Directors has determined that all members of the Audit Committee are financially literate and are audit committee financial experts within the meaning of applicable SEC rules. The Audit Committee was required to meet at least four times during the year and met four times during 2010. The Audit Committee operates pursuant to a Board-approved charter which states its duties and responsibilities. The primary responsibilities of the Audit Committee are to monitor the integrity of the Company’s financial reporting process and systems of internal controls, including the review of the Company’s annual audited financial statements, and to monitor the independence of the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm. The Audit Committee has the exclusive authority to select, evaluate and, where appropriate, replace the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm.
 
     The Audit Committee has considered the extent and scope of non-audit services provided to the Company by its independent registered public accounting firm and has determined that such services are compatible with the independent registered public accounting firm maintaining its independence. For more information, see the Audit Committee Report on page 50.
 
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Executive Compensation Committee
 
     The Executive Compensation Committee is composed of three directors, whom the Board of Directors has affirmatively determined are independent directors as defined by the NYSE listing requirements. The Executive Compensation Committee operates pursuant to a Board-approved charter which states its duties and responsibilities. The Executive Compensation Committee has the power to, among other things, administer and make awards under the Company’s equity compensation plans. The Executive Compensation Committee reviews the recommendations of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer as to appropriate compensation of the Company’s executive officers (other than the Chief Executive Officer) and determines the compensation of such executive officers. The Committee reviews and recommends to the Board of Directors the compensation for the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, which is subject to final approval by the Board of Directors. The Executive Compensation Committee held six meetings in 2010.
 
Corporate Governance Committee
 
     The Corporate Governance Committee is composed of three directors, whom the Board of Directors has affirmatively determined are independent directors as defined by the NYSE listing requirements. The Corporate Governance Committee operates pursuant to a Board-approved charter which states its duties and responsibilities, which include identifying and considering qualified nominees for directors, developing and periodically reviewing the Corporate Governance Guidelines by which the Board of Directors is organized and executes its responsibilities. The Corporate Governance Committee advises the Board of Directors on executive selections and succession, including ensuring that there is a succession plan for the Chief Executive Officer and such other senior executives as determined by the Corporate Governance Committee. In addition, the Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee conducts corporate governance discussions in executive sessions with the Board of Directors. The Corporate Governance Committee also reviews and approves, ratifies or rejects related person transactions under the Company’s written policy with respect to related person transactions. The Corporate Governance Committee met twice during 2010.
 
OWNERSHIP OF COMMON STOCK
 
     The following table sets forth certain information as of March 14, 2011 with respect to shares of Common Stock of the Company beneficially owned by: (1) each person known to the Company to be the beneficial owner of more than 5% of the Common Stock of the Company; (2) each director, nominee for director and executive officer named in the Summary Compensation Table; and (3) all directors, nominees and executive officers of the Company as a group. This information has been provided by each of the directors, executive officers and nominees at the request of the Company or derived from statements filed with the SEC pursuant to Section 13(d) or 13(g) of the Exchange Act. Beneficial ownership of securities as shown below has been determined in accordance with applicable guidelines issued by the SEC. Beneficial ownership includes the possession, directly or indirectly, through any formal or informal arrangement, either individually or in a group, of voting power (which includes the power to vote, or to direct the voting of, such security) and/or investment power (which includes the power to dispose of, or to direct the disposition of, such security).
 
Name and Address of   Sole voting and sole   Shared voting and   Amount and Nature of   Percent of
Beneficial Owner       investment power(1)       shared investment power       Beneficial Ownership       Class(2)
1) Certain beneficial owners:                                                                                        
                                 
BlackRock, Inc (3)     8,708,286             8,708,286        6.30 %
40 East 52nd Street                                
New York, NY 10022                                
                                 
2) Directors (including nominees) and named executive officers:
                                 
Mary C. Carroll     18,279       3,670   (4)     21,949       *  
Nicholas DeBenedictis     805,444       302,693   (5)     1,108,136       *  
Christopher H. Franklin     99,971             99,971       *  

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Name and Address of   Sole voting and sole   Shared voting and   Amount and Nature of   Percent of
Beneficial Owner       investment power(1)       shared investment power       Beneficial Ownership       Class(2)
Richard H. Glanton            6,732                                             6,732                 *     
Lon R. Greenberg     6,000       8,200   (6)     14,200       *  
William P. Hankowsky     10,860             10,860       *  
Karl M. Kyriss     110,776       942   (7)     111,718       *  
Mario Mele     9,000       15,582   (8)     24,582       *  
Ellen T. Ruff     7,000             7,000       *  
David P. Smeltzer     171,266       18,916   (9)     190,182       *  
Richard L. Smoot     19,462             19,462       *  
Andrew J. Sordoni     50,686       12,536   (10)     63,222       *  
Roy H. Stahl     203,086       20,000   (11)     223,086       *  
                   
3) All directors, nominees and executive officers as a group (14 persons)
      1,614,814   (12)     405,838   (13)     2,020,652       1.46 %
____________________
 
* Less than 1%
   
(1) Includes shares held under the Company’s 401(k) Plan as applicable. Also includes the following number of shares issuable upon exercise of outstanding stock options exercisable on or before May 31, 2011: 392,649 shares issuable to Mr. DeBenedictis; 143,497 shares issuable to Mr. Stahl; 121,663 shares issuable to Mr. Smeltzer; 87,830 shares issuable to Mr. Kyriss; and 70,776 shares issuable to Mr. Franklin.
 
(2) Percentage of ownership for each person or group is based on 138,202,083 shares of Common Stock outstanding as of March 14, 2011. For each beneficial owner, the shares include all shares issuable to such person or group upon exercise of outstanding stock options exercisable within 60 days of that date.
   
(3) The information for BlackRock, Inc. was obtained from the Schedule 13G filed by BlackRock, Inc. with the SEC on February 2, 2011.
 
(4) The shareholdings indicated are owned of record by Ms. Carroll’s husband.
 
(5) The shareholding indicated include 57,914 shares held jointly with Mr. DeBenedictis’ wife. The shareholdings indicated also include 244,779 shares owned by Mr. DeBenedictis’ wife, including 241,632 shares in two trusts for which his wife is trustee.
 
(6) The shareholdings indicated are owned jointly with Mr. Greenberg’s wife.
 
(7) The shareholdings indicated are owned jointly with Mr. Kyriss’ wife.
 
(8) The shareholdings indicated include 3,666 shares owned by the Fidelio Foundation for which Mr. Mele is trustee, 7,916 shares owned by Dental Delivery Systems, Inc. of which Mr. Mele is President and 4,000 shares owned by Mele Brothers Realty of which Mr. Mele is partner.
 
(9) The shareholdings indicated are owned jointly with Mr. Smeltzer’s wife.
 
(10) The shareholdings indicated include 2,000 shares owned of record by Mr. Sordoni’s wife and 10,536 shares owned by a trust for the benefit of Mr. Sordoni’s children and with respect to which Mr. Sordoni’s wife is trustee.
 
(11) The shareholdings indicated are owned jointly with Mr. Stahl’s wife.
 
(12) The shareholdings indicated include 893,077 shares issuable to such group upon exercise of outstanding stock options exercisable on or before May 31, 2011.
 
(13)       The shareholdings indicated include 405,838 shares (i) held in joint ownership with spouses, (ii) held as custodian for minor children, (iii) owned by family members or (iv) in trusts for adult children.
 
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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
 
COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
 
Executive Summary
 
     Our executive compensation program is intended to attract, retain and motivate a talented management team and appropriately reward them for their accomplishments in fulfilling our objectives with respect to our various stakeholders. Our program consists of a combination of short-term and long-term compensation vehicles and a sizable portion of the named executive officers’ total compensation comes from incentive compensation. We believe that the types of compensation vehicles we use and the relative proportion of the named executive officers’ total compensation represented by these vehicles is consistent with current competitive compensation practices. We measure the competitiveness of our program for our executive officers against the median compensation for comparable positions at other companies in our benchmark market. Since compensation levels are typically aligned with a company’s revenues, we adjust the Company’s revenues in the manner described below to align with the companies in the benchmark market and size-adjust the market data using regression analysis to determine the market rates for our named executive officer positions. We target total direct compensation within a range of plus or minus 15% of the competitive market rates for each named executive officer. The total target direct compensation for each of our named executive officers was below the upper end of this range at the beginning of 2011.
 
     In this Compensation Discussion and Analysis, we address the compensation paid or awarded to our executive officers listed in the Summary Compensation Table that immediately follows this discussion. We refer to these executive officers as our “named executive officers.” As used in this Compensation Discussion and Analysis, the total of base salary and annual cash incentive compensation is referred to as “total cash compensation” and the total of base salary, annual cash incentive compensation and equity incentive compensation is referred to as “total direct compensation.”
 
Objectives of Aqua America’s Compensation Program
 
     Our executive compensation program is designed to motivate our executives to achieve our goals of providing our customers with quality, cost-effective and reliable water and wastewater services and providing our shareholders with a long-term, positive return on their investment.
 
     Toward that end, our compensation program is designed to meet the following objectives:
  • provide compensation levels that are competitive with those provided by other companies with which we may compete for new executive talent;
     
  • motivate executives to achieve annual customer service-oriented objectives and strategic business initiatives and reward them for their performance in achieving these objectives and initiatives;
     
  • create a strong link between the compensation of our executives and our financial performance and shareholder value; and
     
  • retain executives of significant abilities.
     In administering the executive compensation program, the Executive Compensation Committee (the “Compensation Committee”) attempts to strike an appropriate balance among the elements of our compensation program to achieve the objectives described above. Each of the elements of the program is discussed in greater detail below. In reviewing the Company’s overall compensation program in the context of the risks identified in the Company’s enterprise risk management processes, the Compensation Committee does not believe that the risks the Company faces are materially increased by the Company’s compensation programs and, therefore, the Compensation Committee does not believe that the program creates a reasonable likelihood of a material adverse affect on the Company.
 
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Elements of Aqua America’s Compensation Program
 
     Our executive compensation program is composed of the following six elements, which we believe are important components of a well-designed, balanced and competitive compensation program:
  • Base Salary
     
  • Annual Cash Incentive Awards (referred to as Non-Equity Incentive Plan Compensation in the Summary Compensation Table on page 32)
     
  • Equity Incentives and stock ownership guidelines
     
  • Retirement Benefits
     
  • Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans
     
  • Change-in-Control Agreements
     We utilize these six elements to achieve the objectives of our compensation program as follows:
  • competitively benchmarked base salaries are designed to attract and retain executives consistent with their talent and experience, market-based salary increases are designed to recognize the executive’s performance of their duties and responsibilities, and promotions and related salary increases are designed to encourage executives to assume increased job duties and responsibilities;
     
  • annual cash incentive awards are intended to reward executives and other employees for improving the quality of service to our customers, controlling the cost of service to our customers by managing expenses and improving performance, achieving economies of scale by the acquisition of additional water and wastewater systems that can benefit from our resources and expertise, and enhancing our financial viability and performance by the achievement of annual objectives;
     
  • equity incentives and stock ownership guidelines are designed to align the interests of our executives with our shareholders, to encourage executives to maintain a significant ownership interest in the Company, to reward executives and other employees for enhancing our financial health and performance and achieving increases in shareholder value and to help retain executives due to the longer term nature of these incentives;
     
  • retirement benefits are intended to assist executives and other employees to provide income for their retirement;
     
  • our non-qualified deferred compensation plan is designed to allow eligible executives to defer current income until a later date, either following retirement or other separation from employment; and
     
  • change-in-control agreements with selected executive officers are designed to promote stability and dedication to shareholder value in the event of a fundamental transaction affecting the ownership of the Company and to enable the executives to impartially evaluate such a transaction.
Benchmarking Competitive Compensation and the Role of the Committee’s Consultant
 
     The Compensation Committee has retained Pay Governance LLC (“Pay Governance”), a nationally-recognized compensation consulting firm, as the Compensation Committee’s consultant to assist it in designing and assessing the competitiveness of our executive compensation program. Annually, the Compensation Committee has the consultant develop a market rate or benchmark for base salary, total cash compensation and total direct compensation for each of the named executive officer positions, including the allocation between cash compensation and equity incentives. Each market rate represents the compensation level which would be paid to a hypothetical, seasoned performer in a position having similar responsibilities and in an organization of similar size and type as the Company.
 
     In developing the market rates for the named executive officers in 2010, the consultant utilized compensation data from all 57 investor-owned utilities included in the utility industry database used by the consultant, all eight water companies participating in the independent water utility compensation survey and approximately 750 companies
 
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included in the general industry database used by the consultant. Starting in 2011, the Company will use only the compensation data from all of the 57 investor-owned utilities in the utility industry database and from the eight water companies in the independent survey to determine the market rates for the named executive officers. The Committee believes that utilizing the data from the water company survey and the utility industry database used by the consultant, and adjusting the Company’s revenues as described below to better align the Company’s data with the data in the utility industry database, provides for a more appropriate comparison for determining the market rates for the Company’s named executive officers’ compensation. The companies participating in the water company compensation survey and the companies in the utility industry database and the general industry database used by the consultant are listed in Appendix A to this Proxy Statement. The Company has no involvement in the selection of the companies that are included in these databases or the survey. Each company listed in Appendix A was used in the development of the market rates for 2010 and 2011, respectively, as described in this paragraph. Due to the relatively limited number of investor-owned water utility companies of the Company’s size, the Compensation Committee believes that using this broad market data provides reasonable and reliable data for determining competitive compensation levels.
 
     In measuring the competitiveness of the Company’s executive compensation program, for the years through 2010, the Compensation Committee compared (1) each named executive officer’s total cash compensation to the market rate derived from size-adjusted compensation data for comparable executives at only the water companies and investor-owned utilities listed in Appendix A; and (2) each named executive officer’s long-term equity incentives to the market rate derived from size-adjusted compensation data for comparable executives at all companies listed in Appendix A (in determining such market rate, the investor-owned utilities were weighted 50% as a group, and the general industry companies were weighted 50% as a group). Starting in 2011, in measuring the competitiveness of the Company’s executive compensation program, the Compensation Committee compared each executive officer’s total cash compensation and total direct compensation to the market data derived from size-adjusted compensation data for comparable executives at the eight water companies and 57 investor-owned utilities listed in Appendix A.
 
     The Company and the independent compensation consultant are mindful that compensation levels for executives of companies are typically aligned with a company’s size as defined by revenues. In other words, executives in companies with higher revenues are generally paid more than executives with comparable positions in companies with lower revenues. Because the companies listed in Appendix A vary widely in terms of revenues, the independent compensation consultant size-adjusts the data using regression analysis to determine market rates for total cash compensation, equity incentives and total direct compensation. Regression analysis is an objective calculation that identifies a relationship between one variable (in this case, total cash compensation, equity incentives and total direct compensation) and another variable that is closely related to it (in this case, total company revenues). Therefore, in developing the market rates for total cash compensation, equity incentives and total direct compensation, the independent compensation consultant uses regression analysis to determine what the companies in Appendix A would pay at the median for positions comparable to those of the Company’s named executive officers. The Compensation Committee and the consultant have concluded that the Company’s revenues could be viewed as under-representing the complexity and scope of the Company’s business given the Company’s low cost of goods sold relative to energy-based utilities. The cost of goods sold is significant for energy-based utilities due to their fuel, gas and other power costs. These costs are subsequently recovered through the revenues of the energy-based utilities. Therefore, for 2011, the consultant used an average of the Company’s actual revenues and revenues adjusted to estimate what revenues the Company would earn if its cost of goods sold was in similar proportion to that of energy-based utilities in comparing the Company with the investor-owned utilities in Appendix A.
 
     The Compensation Committee considers target total direct compensation levels that are within a range of 15% of the market rates developed by the consultant for each position to be competitive. Variances within this range can be a result of performance, experience and other factors. At the beginning of 2011, the average of the target total cash compensation for the Company’s five named executive officers was 13% below the competitive benchmark, and the average of the target total direct compensation for the Company’s five named executive officers was 8% below the competitive benchmark. Since it is impossible to predict the extent to which performance objectives and financial targets will be achieved, annual cash incentives are valued at their target value and equity awards are valued at their value at the time of grant for purposes of setting the portion of the named executive officer’s total compensation package represented by these elements. Payouts of prior cash incentives and changes in the value of equity incentives granted in previous years are not taken into account in determining the amounts of current awards because annual incentives are intended to reward annual performance and the Compensation Committee makes grants of equity incentives based on their grant date value and the applicable competitive benchmarks for each named executive officer’s position.
 
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     During the first nine months of 2010, Towers Watson served as the independent compensation consultant to the Compensation Committee. Towers Watson also provides actuarial and related consulting services to the Company in connection with the Company’s retirement plans. With respect to the period during which Towers Watson provided compensation consulting services to the Compensation Committee, none of the Towers Watson consultants that provide the actuarial and benefit consulting services to the Company were involved in any of the executive compensation consulting services provided to the Committee and none of the Towers Watson executive compensation consultants were involved in any of the actuarial and benefit consulting services provided to the Company. Towers Watson has served as the actuary for the Company’s retirement plans for many years and its knowledge and experience with the Company’s plans and with the utility industry are considered valuable by the Company. In 2010, the fees paid to Towers Watson for services in connection with the Company’s retirement plans were $368,086 and the fees paid to Towers Watson for services in connection with executive and director compensation were $42,870. The fees paid to Towers Watson for retirement plan services were approved by the Pension Committee appointed by the Board of Directors and were considered by the Compensation Committee in connection with its decision to retain Towers Watson as its executive compensation consultant and in evaluating the independence of Towers Watson’s executive compensation consultants. The Compensation Committee also considered the Towers Watson consulting protocols designed to provide independence between its executive compensation consultants and other portions of Towers Watson’s consulting business. Based on all the foregoing, the Compensation Committee concluded that Towers Watson was an independent consultant to the Committee.
 
     Effective October 1, 2010, Pay Governance was retained as the Compensation Committee’s compensation consultant. Pay Governance was organized by former consultants from Towers Watson, the Compensation Committee’s previous compensation consultant, and is independent of Towers Watson. Pay Governance provides no other services to the Company other than serving as the Compensation Committee’s compensation consultant. The Compensation Committee has concluded that Pay Governance is an independent consultant to the Committee.
 
Determination of Actual Compensation
 
     The Committee determines the actual amount of each element of annual compensation to award to the Company’s executive officers, including the named executive officers, with the goal of having the target total direct compensation for the executive officers around a range of +/- 15% of the market rate for their position over time. We emphasize pay for performance, especially for our higher level executives. Therefore, the named executive officers tend to receive a sizable portion of their total annual compensation from annual cash incentives and equity incentives. In addition, the percentages of total direct compensation represented by base salary, annual cash incentives and equity incentives for the named executive officers are in line with the percentages represented by these elements of total direct compensation for the competitive market rate benchmarks.
 
Base Salary
 
     A competitive base salary is necessary to attract and retain a talented and experienced workforce. Actual salaries for the named executive officers are determined by the Committee by considering both the market rate for the position and internal equity with both the other named executive officers and other employees in the Company. The Committee’s goal is to maintain base salaries around a range of +/- 15% of the market rate over time for each of the named executive officers, although deviations from this goal may occur due to promotions, the executive’s performance and the time the executive has been in a particular salary grade. Base salaries are considered for adjustment annually and adjustments are based on general movement in external salary levels, changes in the market rate for the named executive officers’ positions, individual performance, internal equity and changes in individual duties and responsibilities. For 2010, the salary increases for the named executive officers averaged 7.1%, including increases associated with changes in individual duties and responsibilities and associated with the Chief Executive Officer’s Employment Agreement.
 
Annual Cash Incentive Awards
 
     Annual cash incentives under the Annual Cash Incentive Compensation Plan are intended to motivate management to focus on the achievement of annual objectives that will, among other things, improve the level of service to our customers, control the cost of service and enhance our financial performance. The annual cash incentive portion of the compensation package is based on a target incentive award for each executive, which is stated
 
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as a percentage of their base salary. The Compensation Committee selects a target annual incentive percentage for each executive so that the executive’s target total cash compensation, consisting of base salary and target annual cash incentive, when combined with the executive’s target equity incentives, is generally around a range of +/- 15% of the total direct compensation for the market rate for that position. The target incentive award as a percentage of base salary for each of the named executive officers is: Nicholas DeBenedictis 70%; David P. Smeltzer 40%; Roy H. Stahl 40%; Karl M. Kyriss 35%; and Christopher H. Franklin 35%.
 
     Actual annual incentive awards for executive officers are calculated using the following formula:
 
Salary x Target Incentive Percentage x Company Factor x Individual Factor
 
     The Individual Factor is a percentage based on the executive’s performance against individual objectives established each year. The Company Factor is a percentage based on the performance of the Company, or the appropriate business unit of the Company, against an annual financial target.
 
     The Company Factor ranges from 35%, if 75% of the annual financial performance target is achieved, to 125%, if 110% or more of the annual financial target is achieved. The Company Factor will be 0% if the company or business unit does not achieve at least 75% of the annual financial performance target. The scale for determining the Company Factors is as follows:
 
        Percent of Target       Company Factor
Threshold     <75 %       0 %  
      75         35    
      80         40    
      85         45    
      89.9         50    
      90         60    
      95         80    
      100         100    
      105         110    
Maximum     >110         125    

     We feel that this approach strikes a reasonable balance between pay for performance and encouraging our management team to make appropriate decisions for the longer-term interest of the Company. For the period of 2008 through 2010, the Company Factors for the executives have ranged from 66% to 120%.
 
     The financial performance target for determining the Company Factor for executives with overall corporate responsibilities has been Aqua America’s budgeted annual net income. The financial performance target for executives with operating unit responsibilities has been a combination of Aqua America’s budgeted annual net income and the budgeted annual earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (“EBITD”) of the executive’s particular operating unit or units. By tying the Company Factor for executives with operating unit responsibilities primarily to the financial performance of their operating unit or units, we believe that the operating executives will have a closer correlation between their actions and the Company Factor component of their annual cash incentive compensation. EBITD was chosen as the appropriate financial measure for operating unit executives since these executives do not have direct responsibility for decisions affecting interest, taxes and depreciation charges. In the case of both the net income and EBITD measures, adjustments may be made to actual results to reflect the impact of unbudgeted extraordinary gains or losses, changes in accounting principles and other factors as deemed appropriate by the Compensation Committee.
 
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     The 2010 Company Factor for the named executive officers was determined based on the following weighting of the applicable financial measures:
 
    Aqua             Midwest and
    America             Southern
    Net   Northeast   Division
        Income       Division EBITD       EBITD
Nicholas DeBenedictis     100 %                  
David P. Smeltzer     100 %                  
Roy H. Stahl     100 %                  
Karl M. Kyriss     20 %       80 %          
Christopher H. Franklin     20 %               80 %  

     For purposes of determining the Company Factor for 2010, the range of Aqua America’s net income and business unit EBITD was as follows:
 
        2010
Aqua America Net income   $87,146,398 to $127,814,717
Northeast EBITD   $212,060,626 to $311,022,252
Midwest and Southern EBITD   $68,148,537 to 99,951,188

     The following table shows the 2010 100% Company Factor Amount, 2010 Actual Company Factor Amount and Resulting 2010 Company Factor for each named executive officer for purposes of calculating the 2010 annual cash incentive award paid in 2011. The 2010 100% Company Factor Amount and 2010 Actual Company Factor Amount for each named executive officer is calculated by reference to 2010 Aqua America Net Income, Northeast Division EBITD and Midwest and Southern Divisions EBITD, as applicable, weighted in accordance with the table above showing the weighting of the financial measures for the named executive officers. The 2010 100% Company Factor Amount represents the amount required for the named executive officer to achieve a Resulting Company Factor of 100%.
 
    2010 100%   2010 Actual    
    Company Factor   Company Factor   Resulting
    Amount   Amount   2010 Company
        (in $000)       (in $000)       Factor
N. DeBenedictis     116,195  (1)       125,691  (1)     120%
D. Smeltzer     116,195  (1)       125,691  (1)     120%
R. Stahl     116,195  (1)       125,691  (1)     120%
K. Kyriss     249,437  (2)       251,965  (2)     105%
C. Franklin     95,931  (3)       102,851  (3)     117%
____________________
 
(1)       Weighted 100% Aqua America 2010 Net Income
 
(2)   Weighted as follows: 20% Aqua America 2010 Net Income and 80% Northeast Division 2010 EBITD
 
(3)   Weighted as follows: 20% Aqua America 2010 Net Income and 80% Midwest and Southern Divisions 2010 EBITD

     The Individual Factor ranges from 0% to 150% and is determined based on the individual executive’s performance against objectives established for the executive each year, along with discretionary points based on the individual’s performance. Each named executive officer has approximately ten individual objectives each year. The Compensation Committee approves the objectives for the Chief Executive Officer, and the Chief Executive Officer approves the objectives and point weighting for each objective for the other executive officers. The other executives must achieve objectives with a point rating of at least 70 points to be eligible to receive an annual cash incentive award and the maximum points that an executive can achieve based on the executive’s performance against his or her objectives is 110 points. Up to 40 discretionary points can be awarded for exceptional performance or for achievements on matters not covered by the executive’s original objectives, for a maximum total Individual Factor of 150%. For the Chief Executive Officer, the Individual Factor is based on the Compensation Committee’s overall assessment of his achievements on his objectives up to a total of 150 points for all the objectives combined. Thus, the maximum Individual Factor rating he can achieve is 150% based on achieving all of his objectives for the year as determined by the Compensation Committee.
 
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     The individual annual objectives established for the executive officers, including the named executive officers, will vary depending on their primary areas of responsibility, but the majority of the objectives can be categorized into common areas of emphasis. These common areas of emphasis are customer growth and strategy, improving customer service, cost control, performance improvement, compliance and revenue improvement. The Company considers the executive officers’ annual objectives achievable, but challenging. The individual objectives for the named executive officers in 2010 focused on the following areas:
 
     Nicholas DeBenedictis
  • Strategic planning
     
  • Succession planning
     
  • Customer and revenue growth
     
  • Operational efficiency / environmental compliance
     
  • Managing controllable costs
     
  • Customer service
     
  • Capital planning
     David P. Smeltzer
  • Rate case management
     
  • Debt financing
     
  • Operating cost control
     
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance
     
  • Information systems implementation
     Roy H. Stahl
  • Outside legal expense control
     
  • Retirement plan investment management
     
  • Compensation plan design
     
  • Litigation and claims management
     
  • Operating cost control
Karl M. Kyriss
  • Operating cost control
     
  • Capital project and budget management
     
  • Organizational change management
     
  • Customer and revenue growth
     
  • Labor relations management
     Christopher H. Franklin
  • Customer and revenue growth
     
  • Water quality
     
  • Operational efficiencies
     
  • Organizational change management
     
  • Operating cost control
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     For the period of 2008 through 2010, the Individual Factors achieved by the executives based on their performance against their objectives and discretionary points have ranged from 112% to 145%. The Individual Factors for the named executive officers for 2010 were: Nicholas DeBenedictis – 145%; David P. Smeltzer – 118%; Roy H. Stahl – 115%; Karl M. Kyriss – 130% and Christopher H. Franklin – 125%.
 
     Actual cash incentive awards under the Annual Cash Incentive Compensation Plan for the named executive officers are determined based on the applicable Company Factor, certified by the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, and each executive officer’s Individual Factor. For the Chief Executive Officer, the Board of Directors reviews and approves his Individual Factor based on the Compensation Committee’s assessment of the Chief Executive Officer’s performance against his objectives. For the other named executive officers, the Committee reviews and approves the Individual Factors based on the Chief Executive Officer’s assessment of the named executive officers’ performance against their objectives and possible discretionary points recommended by the Chief Executive Officer. Regardless of Aqua America’s financial performance, the Compensation Committee retains the authority to determine the final Company Factor, and the actual payment and amount of any annual cash incentive award is always subject to the discretion of the Compensation Committee. The Compensation Committee has not exercised this discretion to grant an annual cash incentive to a named executive officer outside of the provisions of the Plan or to deny a cash incentive award to a named executive officer that was otherwise earned under the Plan.
 
     Based on the above described factors, the following table shows the target annual cash incentive and the actual annual cash incentive approved by the Compensation Committee for 2010 for the named executive officers. The target annual cash incentive is calculated assuming a 100% Company Factor and a 100% Individual Factor for each of the named executive officers, except the Chief Executive Officer, for whom the target assumes a 150% Individual Factor based on how the Compensation Committee assesses his overall performance as described above.
 
    2010 Target   2010 Actual
    Cash Incentive   Cash Incentive
        ($)       ($)
N. DeBenedictis     392,000     682,080
D. Smeltzer     115,500     163,548
R. Stahl     115,360     159,197
K. Kyriss     86,608     117,994
C. Franklin     83,073     121,286

Equity Incentives
 
     Our use of equity incentives is intended to (1) align executive compensation with the enhancement of our financial stability and performance and with shareholder interests by providing the participants with a long-term equity interest in Aqua America and (2) attract and retain talented employees. Under the terms of our 2009 Omnibus Equity Compensation Plan, the Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors may grant stock options, dividend equivalents, stock units, stock awards, stock appreciation rights and other stock-based awards to officers, directors, key employees and key consultants of Aqua America and its subsidiaries who are in a position to contribute materially to the successful operation of our business.
 
     As part of its review of the total compensation package for our executives, the Compensation Committee annually reviews our equity incentive compensation program. The Compensation Committee has used a combination of stock options, dividend equivalents and restricted stock, and starting in 2011, the Compensation Committee is using a combination of performance units and restricted stock to link executive long-term incentives to the enhancement of our long-term financial stability and performance and to shareholder interests, and to help retain executives.
 
     Stock option grants generally vest ratably over a period of three years following the date of grant. Dividend equivalents are used to supplement the stock option awards and to motivate executive performance to achieve results that will enable us to increase dividends for our shareholders. The Compensation Committee generally awards a number of dividend equivalents equal to the number of shares underlying stock options awarded to the executives each year. The Compensation Committee has used restricted stock on a selective basis to supplement the option and dividend equivalent awards to achieve target equity incentive levels for certain executives and as a retention tool for selected executives. The actual number of stock options, dividend equivalents and shares of restricted stock granted
 
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each year to the named executive officers is determined by the Compensation Committee so that the value of these awards when combined with the named executive officers’ base salary and target annual cash incentives, brings the named executive officers’ total direct compensation generally around a range of +/- 15% of the target total direct compensation for these positions over time. Based on input from the Compensation Committee’s consultant, the Compensation Committee views a range of +/- 15% to be a reasonable competitive range for any given position. For purposes of this determination, the values for the equity incentive awards are calculated based on the fair market value of such equity awards under FASB ASC 718. The assumptions used in calculating the fair market value under FASB ASC 718 are set forth in the ‘Employee Stock and Incentive Plan’ footnote to the Company’s audited financial statements in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
     Each dividend equivalent entitles the grantee to receive, in the future, an amount of cash compensation equal to the dividends paid by Aqua America on a share of common stock for a particular period of time referred to as the accumulation period. For the dividend equivalents awarded to date, the Compensation Committee has set this accumulation period as four years from the date of grant. Dividend equivalents accrued for a grantee from the date of grant through March 1 of the following year will be paid to the grantee by March 15 of the year following the year of grant. Subsequent dividend equivalents accrued from March 2 of one year to March 1 of the following year through the end of the applicable accumulation period will be paid by March 15 of that following year. In all cases, payment of the dividend equivalents is conditioned on the grantee being a full-time employee of the Company or its subsidiaries on the March 1 preceding the payment date, unless the grantee’s termination was a result of death, disability or retirement, as defined in the Company’s equity compensation plan.
 
     Restricted stock or restricted stock unit grants (together referred to as restricted stock) entitle the grantee to receive the number of shares granted at the end of a given period of time or in increments over a period of years on the anniversaries of the grant date, provided the grantee remains an employee of the Company, unless separation is due to death, disability, retirement or termination following a Change in Control. For the named executive officers, dividends or dividend equivalents on the restricted stock are accumulated and paid when the shares of restricted stock vest. For the grants of restricted stock to the named executive officers, vesting is subject to achievement of certain performance criteria. For the restricted stock grants made to date, these performance criteria require an increase in our annual operating income over previous periods. The performance criteria, designated by the Compensation Committee that must be achieved in order for the installments of restricted stock grants, and the accompanying dividends or dividend equivalents, that are subject to such criteria to vest, has been:
  • for restricted stock grants that vest in annual installments over the restricted period, an increase in the Company’s operating income in the year immediately prior to the vesting date over operating income for the prior year; and
     
  • for restricted stock grants that vest at the end of the restricted period, an increase in the Company’s operating income in the year immediately prior to the vesting date over operating income in the year prior to the grant date.
     Adjustments may be made to actual operating income results to reflect the impact of unbudgeted extraordinary gains or losses, certain non-cash charges arising from changes in accounting or fair value and other factors as deemed appropriate by the Compensation Committee.
 
     Performance share or performance share unit grants (together referred to as performance shares) provide the grantee with the opportunity to earn awards of shares based on performance against designated metrics. Participants will be granted a target number of shares that can increase or decrease in quantity based on the Company’s actual performance compared to the designated metrics. For the performance share grants made by the Company in 2011, the period over which the Company’s performance will be measured will be the three-year period of 2011 through 2013. The three-year performance period for future grants will overlap with the performance period for the 2011 grant. Dividends will accrue and be paid at the end of the performance period on the number of shares actually earned.
 
     The metrics for the performance shares granted in 2011 are as follows:
  • For 25% of the performance shares granted, the number of shares to be paid out at the end of the performance period will be determined based on the Company’s total return to shareholders (“TSR”) at the end of the performance period compared to the TSR for the companies in the S&P Midcap Utility Index;
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  • For 25% of the performance shares granted, the number of shares to be paid out at the end of the performance period will be determined based on the Company’s TSR at the end of the performance period compared to the TSR for the six other large investor-owned water companies (American Water Works Company, American States Water Company, Connecticut Water Service, Inc., California Water Service Group, Middlesex Water Company and SJW Corporation); and
     
  • For 50% of the performance shares granted, the number of shares to be paid out at the end of the performance period will be determined based on the Company’s compound annual growth rate in earnings per share over the performance period.
     The Compensation Committee bases its equity incentive awards for the executives each year on the competitive levels for these awards as described above and does not consider any increase or decrease in the value of past equity incentive awards in making this decision. The Compensation Committee has the discretion to accelerate the vesting of stock options and restricted stock grants and shorten the payment date for dividend equivalents despite the failure to achieve the designated performance criteria.
 
     In considering the number of equity incentive awards to be granted in total to all employees each year, the Compensation Committee considers the number of equity incentive awards outstanding and the number of equity incentive awards to be awarded as a percentage of Aqua America’s total shares outstanding. The number of equity incentive awards granted annually to all employees has been less than 1.0% of Aqua America’s total shares outstanding.
 
     It is our long-standing practice to set the exercise price for stock options equal to the fair market value of Aqua America’s stock on the date of grant, which is the closing price for our common stock on the date of grant.
 
     Equity incentive awards are generally all made on the same grant date. It is our policy to make the grant date of equity compensation grants the date that the Compensation Committee approves the grants, which is either the date of the Compensation Committee’s meeting or the date of the Board meeting following the Compensation Committee’s meeting. The meeting dates for all Board and Compensation Committee meetings, including the dates for the Compensation Committee to approve the equity grants is set in advance, subject to changes for scheduling conflicts, and is independent of the timing of our disclosure of any material non-public information other than our normal annual earnings release.
 
Retirement Plans
 
     Our qualified retirement plans are intended to provide competitive retirement benefits to help attract and retain employees. Our non-qualified retirement plans are intended to: (1) provide executives with a retirement benefit that is comparable on a percentage of salary basis to that of our other employees participating in our qualified pension plan by providing the benefits that are limited under current Internal Revenue Service regulations; and (2) provide our Chief Executive Officer with a total retirement benefit based on 25 years of service at normal retirement age. Starting in 2009, the Company began to fund the trust for the benefits under the non-qualified retirement plans using trust-owned life insurance. An executive’s retirement benefits under our qualified and non-qualified retirement plans are not taken into account in determining the executive’s current compensation.
 
Non-qualified Deferred Compensation Plans
 
     We maintain a non-qualified Executive Deferred Compensation Plan that allows eligible members of management to defer all or a portion of their salary and annual cash incentives, which enables participants to save for retirement and other life events in a tax-effective manner. Deferred amounts are deemed invested in one or more mutual funds selected by the participant under trust-owned life insurance policies on the lives of eligible executives. In addition, in order to provide executives with the full company matching contribution available to other employees, executives who choose to defer up to six percent of their salary under one of Aqua America’s 401(k) plans, but do not receive the full Aqua America matching contribution under the plans due to the Internal Revenue Service regulations limiting the total dollar amount that can be deferred under a 401(k) plan ($15,500 for 2008 and $16,500 for 2009 and 2010), receive the portion of the Aqua America matching contribution that would otherwise be forfeited by the executive as an Aqua America contribution into the Executive Deferral Plan. Effective January 1, 2009, the Company began to fund the trust holding amounts deferred by the participants in the Executive Deferral Plan using trust-owned life
 
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insurance. An executive’s deferrals, Aqua America’s contributions and earnings on deferrals and contributions under our non-qualified deferred compensation plan are not taken into account in determining the executive’s current compensation.
 
Change-in-Control Agreements
 
     We maintain change-in-control agreements with certain executives, including the named executive officers. The change of control agreements entered into with executive officers are intended to minimize the distraction and uncertainty that could affect key management in the event we become involved in a transaction that could result in a change in control of Aqua America and to enable the executives to impartially evaluate such a transaction. Under the terms of these agreements, the covered executives are entitled to certain severance payments and continuation of benefits if they experience a termination of employment other than for cause, or in the event the executive resigns for good reason, as defined in the agreements, within two years following a change-in-control of Aqua America. (See the description of “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change-in-Control” on pages 42 through 49.) These agreements are intended to induce the covered executives to remain with Aqua America and to reinforce and encourage their continued attention and dedication to their duties and responsibilities in the event of a possible change-in-control. These change-in-control agreements are referred to as “double trigger” agreements since they only provide a benefit to executives whose employment is terminated, or who have good reason to resign, following a change of control. These change-in-control agreements do not provide any payments or benefits to the covered executives merely as a result of a change-in-control, although other benefits, such as the vesting of unvested stock options, restricted stock, accrued dividend equivalents, may be triggered under our other plans as a result of a change-in-control. Only the agreement with our Chief Executive Officer includes a provision allowing him to receive the benefits under the agreement if he resigns within 12 months after a change of control as a result of his determination that circumstances have changed with respect to Aqua America and he is no longer able to effectively perform his duties and responsibilities. Because of the unique role of a chief executive officer in a corporation, we believe that such a provision is appropriate. Each of the change-in-control agreements, except the agreement with the Chief Executive Officer, limit the amount of the payments under the agreements to the Internal Revenue Service’s limitation on the deductibility of these payments under Section 280G of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). The agreement with the Chief Executive Officer does not contain this limitation and requires Aqua America to reimburse him for certain tax impacts if the payments under his agreement exceed the Section 280G limit by at least 10%. See “The Impact of Tax Considerations on Executive Compensation Decisions” on page 30. Payment under the Chief Executive Officer’s agreement is, however, contingent on his agreement to a 12-month non-compete agreement. We believe that the multiples of compensation and other benefits provided under the change-in-control agreements, as described on pages 42 through 44 are consistent with practices in the market. Executives who receive payments under their change-in-control agreements in connection with their separation from employment following a change-incontrol will not be entitled to any payments under our normal severance policy, nor will our Chief Executive Officer be entitled to receive the separate severance payment under his Change in Control and Severance Agreement for a termination following a change-in-control. Our Chief Executive Officer will be entitled to the benefits under his Employment Agreement described on page 42 if his employment is terminated (a) by the Company without cause, (b) by the Chief Executive Officer for good reason or (c) by his death or disability as set forth in the Employment Agreement, whether that termination occurs after a change-in-control or not.
 
The Role of Management in the Executive Compensation Process
 
     Our Chief Administrative Officer assists the Compensation Committee by preparing schedules showing the present compensation of executives and compiling the recommended salary grade midpoints, market rates, target annual cash incentives and target range of equity compensation awards from the information provided by the Compensation Committee’s consultant. Our Chief Executive Officer compiles and presents the supporting information for the individual executives’ performance against their objectives and his recommendations for any discretionary points for the calculation of the Individual Factor under the Annual Cash Incentive Compensation Plan. He also provides the Compensation Committee with his recommendations for annual salary increases, any changes in target annual cash incentive percentages and equity incentive awards for the other executive officers. Our Chief Executive Officer also provides the Compensation Committee with his self-assessment of his performance against his objectives. Our Chief Financial Officer provides the Compensation Committee with certifications as to our financial performance for purposes of determining the Company Factor for the Annual Cash Incentive Compensation
 
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Plan, our performance against the criteria established by the Compensation Committee for the vesting of restricted stock grants and the payment of performance shares. These financial measures are also certified by our Director of Internal Audit. Our Chief Executive Officer makes recommendations to the Compensation Committee with respect to the compensation awards for the named executive officers other than himself, but the ultimate decisions regarding compensation for these officers are made by the Compensation Committee.
 
The Impact of Tax Considerations on Executive Compensation Decisions
 
     While Aqua America’s executive compensation program is structured to be sensitive to the deductibility of compensation for federal income tax purposes, the program is principally designed to achieve our objectives as described above. Section 162(m) of the Code generally precludes the deduction for federal income tax purposes of more than $1 million in compensation (including long-term incentives) paid individually to our Chief Executive Officer and the other named executive officers in any one year, subject to certain specified exceptions. We have determined that it may be appropriate for our Chief Executive Officer’s compensation to be at a level such that a portion is not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
 
     As noted above, under the change-in-control agreement with our Chief Executive Officer, our payments to our Chief Executive Officer will not be subject to limitations under Section 280G of the Code if the amounts payable to him under his agreement exceed the Section 280G limit by more than 10%, and therefore, a portion of the payments may not be deductible. If the amounts payable to our Chief Executive Officer exceed the Section 280G limit by more than 10%, he shall be paid an additional amount such that the net amount he retains after deduction of any excise tax imposed under Section 4999 of the Code, and any federal, state and local income and employment tax and excise tax imposed upon such additional amount shall be equal to the payment otherwise due under the agreement. We included these provisions in our Chief Executive Officer’s change-in-control agreement because we did not want the potential excise tax to serve as a disincentive to our Chief Executive Officer’s pursuit of a change-in-control transaction that might otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders. We believe that, in light of our Chief Executive Officer’s record of performance, this determination is appropriate.
 
Equity Ownership Requirements
 
     In 2005, the Board of Directors established stock ownership guidelines for the named executive officers to encourage these executives to maintain a significant ownership interest in the Company and to help align the interests of these executive officers with the long-term performance of the Company. These executive officers are expected to hold Aqua America shares equal in value to at least five times base salary for our Chief Executive Officer and three times base salary for the other named executive officers. Shareholdings will include shares held directly or beneficially, and shares under our Employee Stock Purchase Plan or 401(k) plans. Shareholdings do not include exercisable stock options or restricted shares still subject to restrictions. The named executive officers are expected to have shareholdings consistent with these guidelines by the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the guidelines or within five years after their becoming a named executive officer, if later. Each of the named executive officers, except Mr. Kyriss, who first became an executive officer in 2006, and Mr. Franklin, who first became a named executive officer in 2008, met these guidelines as of the end of 2010. It is the Company’s policy not to permit hedging or short-selling of the Company’s stock by its executive officers.
 
Recovery of Incentive Compensation
 
     In the event of a significant restatement of our financial results caused by executive fraud or willful misconduct, the Compensation Committee reserves the right to review the incentive compensation received by the executives with respect to the period to which the restatement relates, recalculate Aqua America’s results for the period to which the restatement relates and seek reimbursement of that portion of the incentive compensation that was based on the misstated financial results from the executive or executives whose fraud or willful misconduct was the cause of the restatement.
 
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COMPENSATION COMMITTEE REPORT
 
     The Executive Compensation Committee has reviewed and discussed the Compensation Discussion and Analysis on pages 19 through 30 with management. Based on this review and discussion, the Executive Compensation Committee recommended to the Company’s Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors approved, the inclusion of the Compensation Discussion and Analysis in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010 and proxy statement for the 2011 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
William P. Hankowsky, Chairman
Lon R. Greenberg
Ellen T. Ruff

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CURRENT COMPENSATION
 
SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE
 
     The following Summary Compensation Table shows compensation paid or earned by the Company’s Principal Executive Officer, Principal Financial Officer and the next three most highly compensated executive officers of the Company during the fiscal years ended December 31, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
 
SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE
 
                                Change in                
                                Pension                
                                Value and                
                Grant Date Fair   Non-Equity   Non-qualified                
                Value of Stock   Incentive   Deferred                
                and Option   Plan   Compensation   All Other   Total
Name and         Salary    Bonus    Awards    Compensation    Earnings    Compensation    Compensation
Principal Position   Year   ($)(1)   ($)   ($)(2)   ($)(1)(3)   ($)(4)   ($)(5)   ($)
Nicholas DeBenedictis   2010   554,499       1,525,760       682,080       543,654       219,124       3,525,117  
       Chief Executive Officer   2009   507,527       661,650       382,476       752,583       244,748       2,548,985  
       (Principal Executive Officer)   2008   486,808       670,560       452,182       520,595       206,499       2,336,644  
                                                     
David P. Smeltzer   2010   284,889       190,300       163,548       207,357       48,971       895,065  
       Chief Financial Officer   2009   270,846       180,450       104,280       177,035       62,224       794,835  
       (Principal Financial Officer)   2008   255,085       162,700       104,832       131,287       52,374       706,278  
                                                     
Roy H. Stahl   2010   286,041       190,300       159,197       221,813       46,798       904,149  
       Chief Administrative Officer,   2009   280,000       187,425       99,098       237,700       70,809       875,033  
              General Counsel and Secretary   2008   275,158       170,940       121,888       166,592       67,036       801,614  
                                                     
Karl M. Kyriss   2010   246,655       138,500       117,994       185,922       37,823       726,894  
       Regional President - Northeastern   2009   232,500       150,375       64,331       163,083       49,368       659,657  
              Operations   2008   229,269       51,500       80,687       150,929       36,301       548,686  
                                                     
Christopher H. Franklin   2010   240,943       138,500       121,286       91,987       33,952       626,668  
       Regional President - Midwest &   2009   207,231       150,375       61,123       57,784       44,020       520,533  
              Southern Operations and Senior   2008   197,269       51,500       49,650       56,647       33,697       388,763  
              V.P. Corp. & Public Affairs                                                    
____________________
 
Notes:
 
(1)       Salary and Non-equity Incentive Plan Compensation amounts include amounts deferred by the individual.
     
(2)   The grant date fair value of restricted stock and option awards is based on their fair market value on the date of grant as determined in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) accounting guidance for stock compensation. The assumptions used in calculating the fair market value are set forth in the ‘Employee Stock and Incentive Plan’ footnote to the Company’s audited financial statements in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K.
     
(3)   Non-Equity Plan Incentive Compensation is shown for the year in which the compensation is earned, regardless of when paid.

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(4)       For 2010, includes the change in cash surrender value of life insurance which was $11,934 for Mr. DeBenedictis. There were no above market earnings in 2010. For 2009, includes the change in cash surrender value of life insurance which was $-22,864 for Mr. DeBenedictis, $-5,369 for Mr. Stahl and $-9,200 for Mr. Franklin. There were no above market earnings in 2009. For 2008, includes earnings on deferred compensation that are above-market (above 120% of the applicable federal long-term rate as calculated on a monthly basis) of $11,288 for Mr. DeBenedictis, $378 for Mr. Stahl, $410 for Mr. Smeltzer and $9 for Mr. Franklin; and also includes the change in cash surrender value of life insurance which was $-29,451 for Mr. DeBenedictis, $-8,485 for Mr. Stahl and $5,079 for Mr. Franklin. The change in pension value is based on the aggregate change in the actuarial present value of the named executive officer’s accumulated benefit under all defined benefit and actuarial pension plans (including supplemental plans) from the pension plan measurement date used for financial statement reporting purposes the Company’s audited financial statements for the prior completed fiscal year to the pension plan measurement date used for financial statement reporting purposes in the Company’s audited financial statements for the covered fiscal year.
 
(5)   For 2010, the amount includes: (i) dividends on restricted stock grants pending their vesting or forfeiture of $48,736 for Mr. DeBenedictis, $6,370 for Mr. Stahl, $4,765 for Mr. Smeltzer, $2,950 for Mr. Kyriss, and $2,950 for Mr. Franklin; (ii) amounts contributed by the Company to the Executive Deferral Plan representing the amount of the Company’s Matching Contribution under the Company’s 401(k) Plan that could not be contributed to the 401(k) Plan as a result of the Internal Revenue Code restrictions on the amount an participant can contribute as a salary deferral to the plan; (iii) dividend equivalents paid to the named executives during the year of $123,200 to Mr. DeBenedictis, $28,560 to Mr. Stahl, $33,600 to Mr. Smeltzer, $26,320 to Mr. Kyriss and $25,200 to Mr. Franklin; (iv) Company Matching contributions to the Company’s 401(k) plan and (v) perquisites for Mr. DeBenedictis consisting of reimbursement for legal services related to his employment agreement and changes to the Company’s compensation plans and other miscellaneous expenses totaling $26,972 and $392, respectively. For 2009, the amount includes: (i) dividends on restricted stock grants pending their vesting or forfeiture of $22,287 for Mr. DeBenedictis, $6,366 for Mr. Stahl, $5,916 for Mr. Smeltzer, $4,825 for Mr. Kyriss, and $4,825 for Mr. Franklin; (ii) amounts contributed by the Company to the Executive Deferral Plan representing the amount of the Company’s Matching Contribution under the Company’s 401(k) Plan that could not be contributed to the 401(k) Plan as a result of the Internal Revenue Code restrictions on the amount an participant can contribute as a salary deferral to the plan; (iii) dividend equivalents paid to the named executives during the year of $177,155 to Mr. DeBenedictis, $54,462 to Mr. Stahl, $47,579 to Mr. Smeltzer, $35,943 to Mr. Kyriss and $33,019 to Mr. Franklin; (iv) Company Matching contributions to the Company’s 401(k) plan and (v) perquisites for Mr. DeBenedictis consisting of reimbursement for legal services related to his employment agreement and changes to the Company’s compensation plans and other miscellaneous expenses totaling $34,096 and $978, respectively. For 2008, the amount includes: (i) dividends on restricted stock grants pending their vesting or forfeiture of $18,092 for Mr. DeBenedictis, $5,170 for Mr. Stahl, $5,115 for Mr. Smeltzer, $2,550 for Mr. Kyriss, and $2,550 for Mr. Franklin; (ii) amounts contributed by the Company to the Executive Deferral Plan representing the amount of the Company’s Matching Contribution under the Company’s 401(k) Plan that could not be contributed to the 401(k) Plan as a result of the Internal Revenue Code restrictions on the amount an participant can contribute as a salary deferral to the plan; (iii) dividend equivalents paid to the named executives during the year of $173,663 to Mr. DeBenedictis, $50,035 to Mr. Stahl, $37,214 to Mr. Smeltzer, $24,809 to Mr. Kyriss and $24,809 to Mr. Franklin; and (iv) Company Matching contributions to the Company’s 401(k) plan.
 
     The 2010 stock award for Mr. DeBenedictis includes a special grant of 57,000 shares of restricted stock made in connection with Mr. DeBenedictis’ agreement to enter into an employment agreement in January 2010 to remain as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer beyond his normal retirement date. Starting with the restricted stock grants to the named executive officers in 2010, dividends on shares of restricted stock are accumulated and paid to the named executive officer when the shares of restricted stock are released from restrictions. For prior restricted stock grants to the named executive officer and restricted stock grants to other grantees, dividends pending the release of the stock from restrictions are paid to the grantee. In either event, the dividends are included in the All Other Compensation column set forth above for the year the dividends are paid. Through December 31, 2008, amounts deferred by participants in the Company’s Executive Deferral Plan earned interest at the rate of the prime rate plus 1% or were used to purchase life insurance under a flexible premium universal life insurance policy, with any cash value under such policies being invested in a variety of investment funds offered by the insurance carrier under the
 
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policy. The above-market earnings on deferred compensation included in the Change in Pension Value and Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Earning column were computed based on the basis of increases in the cash value of the insurance policies held under the Plan and the interest earned in any month during which the average interest rate at the prime interest rate plus 1% exceeded 120% of the average of the federal long-term rate for that month. Starting in 2009, all amounts deferred by participants in the Executive Deferral Plan and all prior deferrals under the Plan are deemed invested in a variety of mutual funds selected by each participant under trust-owned life insurance used by the Company to fund the Executive Deferral Plan, therefore, there are no preferential or above-market earnings on these deferrals in 2009 or 2010. There was a separate life insurance policy for Mr. DeBenedictis under the Plan through March 2010, so the increase in the cash value of such insurance policy is included in the Change in Pension Value and Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Earnings through that date. Mr. DeBenedictis purchased that insurance policy from the trust holding amounts deferred under the Executive Deferral Plan for the policy’s cash surrender value in March 2010.
 
GRANTS OF PLAN-BASED AWARDS
 
     The following table sets forth information regarding equity and non-equity awards granted to the named executive officers in 2010.
 
Grants of Plan-Based Awards
 
                                                    All   All                
                                                    Other   Other                
                                                    Stock   Option                
                                                    Awards:   Awards:           Grant Date
            Estimated Future Payouts Under   Estimated Future Payouts Under   Number   Number of   Exercise or   Fair Value of
            Non-Equity Incentive Plan   Equity Incentive Plan Awards   of Shares   Securities   Base Price   Stock and
            Awards(1)   (5)(9)   of Stock   Underlying   of Option   Option
    Grant   Threshold   Target   Maximum   Threshold   Target   Maximum   or Units   Options   Awards   Awards
Name   Date   ($)(2)   ($)(3)   ($)(4)   (#)   (#)   (#)   (#)   (#)(6)   ($/Sh)(7)   ($)(8)
N. DeBenedictis     1/22/10       96,040       392,000       735,000         22,000           55,000       17.14       571,010  
      1/31/10                           57,000                       954,750  
D. Smeltzer     1/22/10       28,298       115,500       216,563         7,500           17,500       17.14       190,300  
R. Stahl     1/22/10       28,263       115,360       216,300         7,500           17,500       17.14       190,300  
K. Kyriss     1/22/10       21,219       86,608       162,389         5,000           15,000       17.14       138,500  
C. Franklin     1/22/10       20,353       83,073       155,761         5,000           15,000       17.14       138,500  
____________________
 
Notes:
 
(1)
      The executive's Non-Equity Incentive Plan Awards are calculated based on the executive's current annual salary multiplied by the executive's target incentive compensation percentage times an Individual Factor times a Company Factor.
     
(2)   The Threshold Non-Equity Incentive Plan Award is based on the minimum Individual Factor of 70% and the minimum Company Factor of 35%.
     
(3)   The Target Non-Equity Incentive Plan Award is based on an Individual Factor of 100% and a Company Factor of 100%.
     
(4)   The Maximum Non-Equity Incentive Plan Award is based on the maximum Individual Factor of 150% and the maximum Company Factor of 125%.
     
(5)   Equity Incentive Plan Awards are shares of restricted stock. There are no threshold or maximum amounts related to the restricted stock.
     
(6)   Stock option awards vest in three annual installments starting on the first anniversary of the grant date.
     
(7)   The exercise price for stock options granted under the Company's Equity Compensation Plan is the closing price for the Company's Common Stock on the grant date.

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(8)       The grant date fair value of restricted stock and option awards is based on their fair market value on the date of grant as determined under SFAS 123R. The assumptions used in calculating the fair market value under SFAS 123R are set forth in the 'Employee Stock and Incentive Plan' footnote to the Company's audited financial statements in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
(9)   The restricted stock grants for Mr. DeBenedictis vests in three annual installments and the restricted stock grant for Mr. Stahl vests in two annual installments starting on the first anniversary of the grant date, subject to the Company achieving an increase in operating income in the year immediately prior to the vesting date over the prior year. The restricted stock grants for Messrs. Smeltzer, Kyriss and Franklin vest on the third anniversary of the grant date, subject to the Company achieving in increase in operating income in the year immediately prior to the vesting date over the operating income in the year prior to grant date.
 
     Under the Estimated Future Payouts Under Non-Equity Incentive Plan Awards columns in the table above, the amounts were calculated based on the individual’s target bonus percentage times their current annual salary, and using an Individual Factor of 70% and a Company Factor of 35% for the Threshold amount, an Individual Factor of 100% and a Company Factor of 100% for the Target amount, and an Individual Factor of 150% and Company Factor of 125% for the Maximum amount.
 
     Stock Awards are in the form of restricted stock and such grants have various vesting periods. The 2010 grants for Messrs. DeBenedictis and Stahl vest in installments of one-third each year and one-half each year, respectively, starting on the first anniversary of the grant date. The 2010 grants for Messrs. Smeltzer, Kyriss and Franklin vest at the end of three years after the grant date. In order for the grantee to receive the applicable portion of the restricted stock grant when it vests, the Company must also achieve the financial performance criteria established by the Compensation Committee. For the restricted stock grants to Mr. DeBenedictis, the performance criteria are an increase in the Company’s operating income in any of the years 2010, 2011 or 2012 over the Company’s operating income for the prior year. For all other restricted stock grants that vest in annual installments, the performance criteria are an increase in the Company’s operating income in the year ending immediately prior to the vesting date over the prior year. For the restricted stock grants that vest at the end of three years after the grant date, the performance criteria is an increase in operating income in the year prior to the vesting date over the operating income in the year prior to the grant date. The Committee has approved a policy for certain adjustments to the calculation of the Company’s operating income for purposes of determining whether the designated performance criteria have been met as described on page 27.
 
     If the Company does not achieve the required financial performance to meet the designated performance criteria, the shares that would otherwise vest are forfeited. Therefore, the full number of shares of restricted stock is included in the Target column under the Estimated Future Payouts Under Equity Incentive Plan Awards in the Grants of Plan Based Awards Table above.
 
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OUTSTANDING EQUITY AWARDS AT FISCAL YEAR-END
 
     The following table sets forth information on outstanding stock option and restricted stock awards held by the named executive officers at the end of 2010.
 
Outstanding Equity Awards At Fiscal Year-End
 
    Option Awards   Stock Awards
                                                            Equity
                                                            Incentive
                                                            Plan
                                                  Equity   Awards:
                                                  Incentive   Market
                    Equity                             Plan   or Payout
                    Incentive                     Number   Market   Awards:   Value of
                    Plan                     of   Value of   Number of   Unearned
                    Awards:                     Shares   Shares   Unearned   Shares,
    Number of   Number of   Number of                     or Units   or Units   Shares,   Units or
    Securities   Securities   Securities                     of Stock   of Stock   Units or   Other
    Underlying   Underlying   Underlying                     That   That   Other   Rights
    Unexercised   Unexercised   Unexercised   Option           Have   Have   Rights That   That
    Options   Options   Unearned   Exercise   Option   Not   Not   Have Not   Have Not
    (#)   (#)   Options   Price   Expiration   Vested   Vested   Vested   Vested
Name      Exercisable      Unexercisable      (#)   ($)   Date   (#)   ($)   (#)   ($)
N. DeBenedictis                                                                  100,999  (1)          $ 2,270,458  
      23,286                   $ 13.7550       5/15/2013                              
      56,031                   $ 16.1475       3/1/2014                              
      93,333                   $ 18.3338       2/28/2015                              
      55,000                   $ 29.4600       3/7/2016                              
      55,000                   $ 23.2600       2/22/2017                              
      36,667       18,333  (6)         $ 20.1800       2/26/2018                              
      18,333       36,667  (7)         $ 19.1200       2/26/2019                              
              55,000  (8)         $ 17.1400       1/22/2020                              
                                                                   
D. Smeltzer                                                   15,166  (2)       $ 340,932  
      20,831                   $ 12.4875       6/17/2012                              
      20,831                   $ 13.7550       5/15/2013                              
      20,000                   $ 16.1475       3/1/2014                              
      19,999                   $ 18.3338       2/28/2015                              
      15,000                   $ 29.4600       3/7/2016                              
      15,000                   $ 23.2600       2/22/2017                              
      10,000       5,000  (6)         $ 20.1800       2/26/2018                              
      5,000       10,000  (7)         $ 19.1200       2/26/2019                              
              17,500  (8)         $ 17.1400       1/22/2020                              
                                                                   
R. Stahl                                                   16,166  (3)       $ 363,412  
      29,998                   $ 13.7550       5/15/2013                              
      30,000                   $ 16.1475       3/1/2014                              
      26,666                   $ 18.3338       2/28/2015                              
      17,000                   $ 29.4600       3/7/2016                              
      17,000                   $ 23.2600       2/22/2017                              
      11,333       5,667  (6)         $ 20.1800       2/26/2018                              
              17,500  (8)         $ 17.1400       1/22/2020                              

36
 

 

    Option Awards   Stock Awards
                                                              Equity
                                                              Incentive
                                                              Plan
                                                      Equity   Awards:
                                                      Incentive   Market
                      Equity                           Plan   or Payout
                      Incentive                   Number   Market   Awards:   Value of
                      Plan                   of   Value of   Number of   Unearned
                      Awards:                   Shares   Shares   Unearned   Shares,
    Number of   Number of     Number of                   or Units   or Units   Shares,   Units or
    Securities   Securities     Securities                   of Stock   of Stock   Units or   Other
    Underlying   Underlying     Underlying                   That   That   Other   Rights
    Unexercised   Unexercised     Unexercised   Option           Have   Have   Rights That   That
    Options   Options     Unearned   Exercise   Option   Not   Not   Have Not   Have Not
    (#)   (#)     Options   Price   Expiration   Vested   Vested   Vested   Vested
Name       Exercisable       Unexercisable       (#)       ($)       Date       (#)       ($)       (#)       ($)
K. Kyriss                                                       10,000  (4)     $ 224,800  
      13,333                       $ 12.4830       3/3/2013                            
      13,332                       $ 16.1475       3/1/2014                            
      13,332                       $ 18.3338       2/28/2015                            
      12,000                       $ 29.4600       3/7/2016                            
      10,000                       $ 23.2600       2/22/2017                            
      8,333       4,167  (6)             $ 20.1800       2/26/2018                            
      4,166       8,334  (7)             $ 19.1200       2/26/2019                            
              15,000  (8)             $ 17.1400       1/22/2020                            
                                                                     
C. Franklin                                                       10,000  (5)     $ 224,800  
      10,690                       $ 12.4830       3/3/2013                            
      13,333                       $ 16.1475       3/1/2014                            
      13,332                       $ 18.3338       2/28/2015                            
      10,000                       $ 29.4600       3/7/2016                            
      10,000                       $ 23.2600       2/22/2017                            
      8,333       4,167  (6)             $ 20.1800       2/26/2018                            
      4,166       8,334  (7)             $ 19.1200       2/26/2019                            
              15,000  (8)             $ 17.1400       1/22/2020                            
____________________
 
Notes:
 
(1)       Of Mr. DeBenedictis’ 100,999 restricted shares of common stock, 7,334 shares vest on January 22, 2011, 19,000 shares vest on January 31, 2011, 14,666 shares vest on February 26, 2011, 7,333 shares vest on January 22, 2012, 19,000 shares vest on January 31, 2012, 7,333 shares vest on February 26, 2012, 7,333 shares vest on January 22, 2013, 19,000 shares vest on January 31, 2013.
     
(2)   Of Mr. Smeltzer’s 15,166 restricted shares of common stock, 1,666 shares vest on February 26, 2011, 6,000 shares vest on February 26, 2012, 7,500 shares vest on January 22, 2013.
     
(3)   Of Mr. Stahl’s 16,166 restricted shares of common stock, 1,666 shares vest on February 26, 2011, 3,500 shares vest on July 24, 2011, 3,500 shares vest on July 24, 2012, 3,750 shares vest on January 22, 2011 and 3,750 shares vest on January 22, 2012.
     
(4)   Of Mr. Kyriss’ 10,000 restricted shares of common stock, 5,000 shares vest on February 26, 2012 and 5,000 shares vest on January 22, 2013.
     
(5)   Of Mr. Franklin’s 10,000 restricted shares of common stock, 5,000 shares vest on February 26, 2012 and 5,000 shares vest on January 22, 2013.
     
(6)   100% vest on February 26, 2011.

37
 

 

(7)       50% vest on February 26, 2011 and 50% vest on February 26, 2012.
 
(8)   One third vest on January 22, 2011, one third vest on January 22, 2012, and one third vest on January 22, 2013.
 
OPTION EXERCISES AND STOCK VESTED
 
     The following table sets forth (1) the number of shares of Aqua America’s common stock acquired by the named executive officers in 2010 from the exercise of stock options, (2) the value realized by those officers upon the exercise of those stock options based on the difference between the market price for our Common Stock on the date of exercise and the exercise price for the options, (3) the number of shares of restricted stock previously granted to the named executive officers that vested in 2010, and (4) the value realized by those officers upon the vesting of such shares based on the closing market price for our shares of Common Stock on the vesting date.
 
Option Exercises and Stock Vested
 
    Option Awards   Stock Awards
    Number of           Number of        
    Shares           Shares        
    Acquired   Value Realized   Acquired   Value Realized
    on Exercise   on Exercise   on Vesting   on Vesting
Name       (#)       ($)       (#)       ($)
N. DeBenedictis                 19,667       340,374  
D. Smeltzer     12,121       78,120       3,334       57,820  
R. Stahl     43,178       346,924       6,834       125,667  
K. Kyriss                 5,000       87,075  
C. Franklin     20,829       199,381       5,000       87,075  

RETIREMENT PLANS AND OTHER POST-EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
 
PENSION BENEFITS
 
     The following table sets forth (1) the number of years of credited service for the named executive officers under our various retirement plans as of December 31, 2010, (2) the actuarial present value of accumulated benefits under those plans as of December 31, 2010 and (3) any payments made to the named executive officers in 2010 under those plans.
 
Pension Benefits
        Number of   Present    
        Years of   Value of   Payments
        Credited   Accumulated   During Last
        Service   Benefit   Fiscal Year
Name       Plan Name       (#)       ($)       ($)
N. DeBenedictis   Retirement Income Plan for Aqua America, Inc. and Subsidiaries     19       1,949,911    
    Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan     19       1,799,408    
    Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan     25       1,183,995    
                         
D. Smeltzer   Retirement Income Plan for Aqua America, Inc. and Subsidiaries     25       722,605    
    Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan     25       389,953    
                         
R. Stahl   Retirement Income Plan for Aqua America, Inc. and Subsidiaries     29       1,435,929    
    Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan     29       400,350    
                         
K. Kyriss   Retirement Income Plan for Aqua America, Inc. and Subsidiaries     16       663,337    
    Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan     16       225,961    
                         
C. Franklin   Retirement Income Plan for Aqua America, Inc. and Subsidiaries     18       334,864    
    Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan     18       65,828    

38
 

 

RETIREMENT INCOME PLAN FOR AQUA AMERICA, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES (THE “RETIREMENT PLAN”)
 
     Aqua America, Inc. sponsors a qualified defined benefit Retirement Plan to provide retirement income to Aqua America’s employees hired prior to certain dates starting in 2003. For the portion of the Retirement Plan covering the named executive officers, plan compensation is defined as total compensation paid, but excludes contributions made by Aqua America to a plan of deferred compensation, distributions from a deferred compensation plan, amounts realized from the exercise of stock options or when restricted stock becomes freely transferable, fringe benefits, welfare benefits, reimbursements or other expense allowances, moving expenses and commissions. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), imposes maximum limitations on the annual amount of pension benefits that may be paid under, and the amount of compensation that may be taken into account in calculating benefits under, a qualified, funded defined benefit pension plan such as the Retirement Plan. The Retirement Plan complies with these ERISA limitations.
 
     Benefits earned under the final pay formula are equal to 1.35% of average plan compensation plus 0.45% of average plan compensation above Covered Compensation for each year of credited service up to 25 years, and 0.5% of average plan compensation for each year of credited service above 25 years. The annual benefit is further subject to a minimum benefit schedule. Average plan compensation is defined as the average of plan compensation over the highest five consecutive years out of the last ten years. Covered Compensation is defined as the average of the Social Security Wage Bases in effect for each calendar year during the thirty-five year period ending with the last day of the calendar year of the benefit determination.
 
     Under the terms of the Retirement Plan, a Company participant becomes fully vested in his or her accrued pension benefit after five years of credited service. Participants may retire as early as age 55 with 10 years of service. Unreduced benefits are available when a participant attains the earlier of age 65 with 5 years of service or age 62 with 30 years of service. Otherwise, benefits are reduced 3% for each year by which retirement precedes the attainment of age 65. Pension benefits earned are payable in the form of a lifetime annuity. Married individuals receive a reduced benefit paid in the form of a qualified joint and survivor annuity.
 
     Messrs. DeBenedictis, Kyriss and Stahl are currently eligible to retire under the plan.
 
     The provisions described above cover a significant portion of the company’s non-union workforce hired prior to certain dates starting in 2003, including each of the named executive officers. Certain union employees and certain other non-union employees are covered under separate definitions of plan compensation, benefit formulas and benefit options within the Retirement Plan.
 
AQUA AMERICA, INC. SUPPLEMENTAL RETIREMENT PLANS
 
     Effective December 1, 1989, the Board of Directors adopted a supplemental benefits plan for salaried employees of the Company (the “Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan”). The Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan is a nonqualified pension benefit plan that is intended to provide an additional pension benefit to Company participants in the Retirement Plan and their beneficiaries whose benefits under the Retirement Plan are adversely affected by the ERISA limitations described above. In addition, deferred compensation is excluded from the Retirement Plan Compensation, but is included in the calculation of benefits under the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan. The benefit under the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan is equal to the difference between (i) the amount of the benefit the Company participant would have been entitled to under the Retirement Plan absent such ERISA limitations and including deferred compensation in the final average earnings calculation, and (ii) the amount of the benefit actually payable under the Retirement Plan.
 
     A non-qualified Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan, or SERP, was established for Mr. DeBenedictis in 1992 with the approval of the Board of Directors. Under the terms of the SERP, Mr. DeBenedictis will be eligible to receive a benefit at normal retirement equal to the difference between (i) the benefit to which he would otherwise be entitled under the Retirement Plan assuming he had 25 years of service and absent the ERISA limitations referred to above, and (ii) the benefit payable to him under the Retirement Plan and the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan.
 
39
 

 

     In 2010, the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and Mr. DeBenedictis’ SERP were amended to provide in the event of Mr. DeBenedictis’ separation from service due to death, the surviving spouse benefit paid under those Plans will be an amount equal to the actuarial equivalent present value of the surviving spouse benefit that would have been paid had Mr. DeBenedictis retired on the day prior to the day of his death instead of the normal benefit of a 75% joint and survivor annuity determined as if he had retired on the day prior to his death.
 
     Participants may retire as early as age 55 with 10 years of service under the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and the SERP. Unreduced benefits are available when a participant attains the earlier of age 65 with 5 years of service or age 62 with 30 years of service. Otherwise, benefits are reduced 3% for each year by which retirement precedes the attainment of age 65. Pension benefits earned are payable in the form of a lifetime annuity. Married individuals receive a reduced benefit paid in the form of a qualified joint and survivor annuity. Pension benefits under the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and the SERP may be paid as a lump sum, paid in a series of installments or under certain circumstances transferred at separation from employment to up to five separation distribution accounts under the Company’s Executive Deferral Plan.
 
     Messrs. DeBenedictis, Franklin, Kyriss, Smeltzer and Stahl are earning benefits under the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan, and are fully vested in those benefits. Mr. DeBenedictis is also earning benefits under the SERP and is fully vested. Messrs. DeBenedictis, Kyriss, and Stahl are currently eligible to retire under the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and Mr. DeBenedictis is currently eligible to retire under the SERP.
 
     In 2009, the Company began to fund the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and the SERP through the use of trust-owned life insurance.
 
ACTUARIAL ASSUMPTIONS USED TO DETERMINE VALUES IN THE PENSION BENEFITS TABLE
 
     The amounts shown in the Pension Benefit Table above are actuarial present values of the benefits accumulated through the date shown. An actuarial present value is calculated by estimating expected future payments starting at an assumed retirement age, weighting the estimated payments by the estimated probability of surviving to each post-retirement age, and discounting the weighted payments at an assumed discount rate to reflect the time value of money. The actuarial present value represents an estimate of the amount which, if invested today at the discount rate, would be sufficient on an average basis to provide estimated future payments based on the current accumulated benefit. Assumptions used to determine the values are the same as those disclosed on Aqua America’s financial statements as of those dates with the exception of the assumed retirement age and the assumed probabilities of leaving employment prior to retirement. Retirement was assumed to occur at the earliest possible unreduced retirement age (or current age, if later) for each plan in which the executive participates. For purposes of determining the earliest unreduced retirement age, service was assumed to be granted until the actual date of retirement. Actual benefit present values will vary from these estimates depending on many factors, including an executive’s actual retirement age. The key assumptions included in the calculations are as follows:
 
      December 31, 2010   December 31, 2009
Discount rate             5.75 %             5.91%
Retirement ages:              
Mr. DeBenedictis     65.25       65
Mr. Franklin     62       62
Mr. Kyriss     62       62
Mr. Smeltzer     62       62
Mr. Stahl     62       62
Termination, pre-retirement mortality and disability rates     None       None
Post-Retirement Mortality       IRS Prescribed        
      Mortality Table   RP 2000 Table
         
Form of payment        
   •    Retirement Plan   Single life annuity   Single life annuity
Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and SERP   Single lump sum   Single lump sum
      payment transferred   payment transferred
      to the Company’s   to the Company’s
      Executive Deferral   Executive Deferral
      Plan   Plan

40
 

 

NONQUALIFIED DEFERRED COMPENSATION
 
     The following table sets forth information regarding contributions to, earnings on, withdrawals from and balances as of the end of 2010 for our nonqualified Executive Deferral Plan.
 
Nonqualified Deferred Compensation
 
    Executive   Registrant   Aggregate   Aggregate   Aggregate
    Contributions   Contributions   Earnings in   Withdrawals /   Balance at
    in Last FY   in Last FY   Last FY   Distributions   Last FYE
Name       ($)       ($)(1)       ($)(2)(3)       ($)   ($)(4)
N. DeBenedictis     277,250       1,800       277,091             3,009,947  
D. Smeltzer     5,698       1,800       12,922         123,895  
R. Stahl     5,721       1,800       12,532         120,259  
K. Kyriss     44,498             5,527         63,432  
C. Franklin                 1,414         12,689  
____________________
 
Notes:
 
(1)       There was $900 for 2010 and $900 for 2009 contributed by the Company to the Executive Deferral Plan representing the amount of the Company’s Matching Contribution under the Company’s 401(k) Plan that could not be contributed to the 401(k) Plan as a result of the Internal Revenue Code restrictions on the amount a participant can contribute as a salary deferral to the plan for Mr. DeBenedictis, Mr. Smeltzer, and Mr. Stahl.
     
(2)   In 2010, the deferred amounts were deemed invested in mutual funds chosen by the participant under a trust-owned life insurance policy maintained by the Company to fund the Executive Deferral Plan. The earnings shown in this column include the deemed earnings on those mutual funds and the increase in the cash surrender value during the year of insurance policies purchased under the Plan.
     
(3)   The portion of earnings shown in this column that are included in the Changes in Pension Value and Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Earnings for the named executive officers in the Summary Compensation Table, representing the change in cash surrender value of life insurance, are $11,934 for Mr. DeBenedictis.
     
(4)   The aggregate balances include the following amounts previously reported in the Summary Compensation Table in prior years: $37,915 for Mr. DeBenedictis; $1,592 for Mr. Smeltzer; -$4,830 for Mr. Stahl; and $ -$4,112 for Mr. Franklin.

     Employees with total projected W-2 compensation for 2010 in excess of $129,000 are eligible to participate in the Company’s Executive Deferral Plan for 2011. Participants may defer up to 100% of their salary and 100% of their non-equity incentive compensation under the Company’s Annual Cash Incentive Compensation Plan. At the time the participant elects to make a deferral under the Executive Deferral Plan, the participant is also required to elect the form of payment with respect to the amounts deferred for the upcoming calendar year. If a separation distribution account is elected, the participant may choose to receive his or her distribution in either a lump sum payment, or, subject to certain requirements, in annual installments over 2 to 15 years. If a flexible distribution account is elected, the participant will receive his or her distribution in a lump sum payment. The executive officers, including the named executive officers, may not commence the receipt of their account balances and the earnings on these deferrals sooner than the first day of the seventh month following the date of the executive’s separation from employment.
 
41
 

 

POTENTIAL PAYMENTS UPON TERMINATION OR CHANGE-IN-CONTROL
 
SEVERANCE AND EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS
 
     All salaried employees, including the named executive officers, are covered by our severance policy. The policy provides eligible employees, subject to the terms of the policy, with a severance benefit of two weeks of the employee’s weekly base salary per credited year of service if the employee’s employment is terminated because the employee’s position is discontinued due to business conditions or a reorganization and no comparable employment is available and offered to the employee. The policy provides a minimum severance benefit of four weeks and a maximum benefit of 26 weeks of the employee’s base weekly salary at the time of termination and a minimum of one month of continued medical benefits and a maximum of six months of continued medical benefits following termination to eligible employees. Employees must sign a general release in order to receive these severance benefits. These benefits are available to all eligible salaried employees.
 
     On January 31, 2010, the Company and Nicholas DeBenedictis, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, entered into an Employment Agreement (the “Employment Agreement”), under which Mr. DeBenedictis has agreed to continue in employment for an additional three years. The term of the Employment Agreement continues through January 31, 2013. After the end of the term, the Company and Mr. DeBenedictis may mutually agree to renew the term. Under the Employment Agreement, Mr. DeBenedictis continued as the Company’s CEO beyond his normal retirement date in September 2010, thereby providing continuity of leadership for the Company.
 
     Pursuant to the Employment Agreement, Mr. DeBenedictis will continue to serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and will be entitled to an annual base salary of not less than $560,000 and a target annual incentive bonus of not less than his current level of 70% of base salary. Mr. DeBenedictis will continue to be eligible to participate in the Company’s incentive compensation programs and in the Company’s benefit plans.
 
     Pursuant to the Employment Agreement, on January 31, 2010, the Company granted Mr. DeBenedictis a performance-based stock award (the “Stock Award”) under the Omnibus Equity Compensation Plan with respect to 57,000 shares of common stock of the Company. The shares will vest by 2013 based on continued service and subject to the Company’s achievement of a year–over-year increase in operating income for 2010, 2011 or 2012.
 
     If the Company terminates Mr. DeBenedictis’ employment without cause or Mr. DeBenedictis terminates employment for good reason, any unvested shares of the Stock Award will fully vest if the Company achieves a year-over-year increase in operating income for 2010, 2011 or 2012. If Mr. DeBenedictis dies, his employment is terminated due to disability or a change in control of the Company occurs, any unvested shares of the Stock Award will fully vest. If Mr. DeBenedictis’ employment is terminated for cause or if he voluntarily terminates employment without good reason, any unvested shares of the Stock Award will be forfeited.
 
     No additional severance benefits are provided under the Employment Agreement. Mr. DeBenedictis has a separate severance agreement with the Company, which provides severance benefits under certain circumstances and is not affected by the Employment Agreement. Mr. DeBenedictis continues to be subject to the non-competition covenants set forth in his separate severance agreement.
 
     The Company has amended its Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan for Salaried Employees and its Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan for Nicholas DeBenedictis to provide that in the event of Mr. DeBenedictis’ death while in the employ of the Company, the surviving spouse benefit will be equal to the benefit Mr. DeBenedictis would have received if he had retired on the day before his death.
 
CHANGE-IN-CONTROL AGREEMENTS
 
     The Company maintains change-in-control agreements with certain executives, including the named executive officers in the Summary Compensation Table. Payments under these agreements are triggered if the covered executive’s employment is terminated other than for cause or the executive resigns for good reason, as defined in the agreements, within two years after a change-in-control of the Company. In addition, the agreement covering Mr. DeBenedictis permits him to trigger the payments under his agreement if he terminates his employment within 12 months after a change-in-control if he determines that circumstances have so changed with respect to the Company that he is no longer able to effectively perform his duties and responsibilities. Mr. DeBenedictis’ payment is also subject to him agreeing to a twelve-month non-compete covenant.
 
42
 

 

     Payments and benefits under the change-in-control agreements consist of the payment of a multiple of 2 or 3 times the named executive officer’s “Base Compensation”, as defined in the agreements, a lump sum payment in lieu of the continuation of certain health benefits for a period of 2 or 3 years and outplacement services, which are summarized in the following table for the named executive officers. In addition, Mr. DeBenedictis is entitled under his change-in-control agreement to the transfer, without requiring a cash payment from him, of a life insurance policy.
 
     The following table provides a summary of the benefits to which each named executive officer would be entitled under the change-in-control agreements.
 
        Payment in    
        lieu of    
        Health    
    Multiple of   Benefit    
        Base       Continuation       Outplacement
Executive   Compensation   Period   Services
N. DeBenedictis   3   3 years   1 year
D. Smeltzer   2   2 years   6 months
R. Stahl   2   2 years   6 months
K. Kyriss   2   2 years   6 months
C. Franklin   2   2 years   6 months

     For purposes of the change-in-control agreements, Base Compensation is defined as current base annual salary, plus the greater of the executive’s target bonus for the year in which the executive incurs a termination of employment, or the last actual bonus paid to the executive under the Annual Cash Incentive Compensation Plan (or any successor plan maintained by Aqua America), in all capacities with Aqua America and its subsidiaries or affiliates. The executive’s Base Compensation shall be determined prior to reduction for salary deferred by the executive under any deferred compensation plan of Aqua America and its subsidiaries or affiliates, or otherwise.
 
     The payment of the multiple of Base Compensation would be made in a lump sum within 60 days after the executive’s termination as defined under the agreements, although pursuant to the requirements of Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, part or all of such payment may need to be deferred until the first day of the seventh month following the date of the executive’s separation from employment. Each executive is required to execute a standard release of the Company as a condition to receiving the payment under the agreement.
 
     Under our 2004 Equity Compensation Plan and 2009 Omnibus Equity Compensation Plan (the “Plans”), unvested equity incentives become immediately vested upon a change-in-control regardless of whether the grantee is terminated or not. The vesting of these equity incentives is applicable to all grantees under the Plans. The value of vested stock options is not included in the tables below.
 
     For purposes of the change-in-control agreements and the vesting of unvested equity incentives as described above, a change-in-control, subject to certain exceptions, means:
 
      (1)       any person (including any individual, firm, corporation, partnership or other entity except Aqua America, any subsidiary of Aqua America, any employee benefit plan of Aqua America or of any subsidiary, or any person or entity organized, appointed or established by Aqua America for or pursuant to the terms of any such employee benefit plan), together with all affiliates and associates of such person, shall become the beneficial owner in the aggregate of 20% or more of the common stock of Aqua America then outstanding;
   
  (2)   during any twenty four-month period, individuals who at the beginning of such period constitute the Board of Directors of Aqua America cease for any reason to constitute a majority thereof, unless the election, or the nomination for election by Aqua America’s shareholders, of at least seventy-five percent of the directors who were not directors at the beginning of such period was approved by a vote of at least seventy-five percent of the directors in office at the time of such election or nomination who were directors at the beginning of such period; or
   
  (3)   there occurs a sale of 50% or more of the aggregate assets or earning power of Aqua America and its subsidiaries, or its liquidation is approved by a majority of its shareholders or Aqua America is merged into or is merged with an unrelated entity such that following the merger the shareholders of Aqua America no longer own more than 50% of the resultant entity.
 
43
 

 

     Copies of these change-in-control agreements for Messrs. DeBenedictis, Smeltzer, Stahl, Kyriss and Franklin have been filed with the SEC as Exhibits to Aqua America’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 or incorporated therein by reference.
 
RETIREMENT AND OTHER BENEFITS
 
     Under the terms of our qualified and non-qualified defined benefit retirement plans, eligible salaried employees, including the named executive officers are entitled to certain pension benefits upon their termination, retirement, death or disability. In general, the terms under which benefits are payable upon these triggering events are the same for all participants under the qualified and non-qualified plans. The present value of accumulated pension benefits, assumed payable at the earliest unreduced age (or current age, if later), for the named executive officers is set forth in the Pension Benefits table on page 38. The pension benefit values included in the tables below reflect the incremental value above the amounts shown in the Pension Benefits table for benefits payable upon each triggering event from all pension plans in the aggregate.
 
     Aqua America, Inc. sponsors postretirement medical plans to subsidize retiree medical benefits for employees hired prior to certain dates starting in 2003. Under the postretirement medical plans, employees are generally eligible to retire upon attainment of age 55 and completion of 15 years of service. Upon retirement, eligible participants are entitled to receive subsidized medical benefits prior to attainment of age 65 where the subsidy provided is based upon age and years of service upon retirement. Upon attainment of age 65, eligible participants are entitled to receive employer contributions into a premium reimbursement account which may be used by the retiree in paying medical and prescription drug benefit premiums. The postretirement medical benefits shown are those which are payable from the Company under each of the triggering events. Assumptions used to determine the values are the same as those disclosed on Aqua America’s financial statements, except for the assumption of immediate termination, retirement, death or disablement for purposes of the tables on pages 45 through 47. Participants not eligible to receive benefits if leaving under a triggering event as of December 31, 2010 are shown with zero value in the tables.
 
     Upon termination for any reason, the participants in our Executive Deferral Plan, including the named executive officers, would be entitled to a distribution of their account balances as set forth in the Nonqualified Deferred Compensation table on page 41, subject to the restrictions under the Plan described on page 41. The values of these account balances are not included in the tables below. The named executive officers are also eligible for the same death and disability benefits of other eligible salaried employees. These common benefits are not included in the tables below.
 
     Under the terms of our 2004 Equity Compensation Plan, upon termination of a grantee’s employment as a result of retirement, disability or death, the period during which stock options that were granted prior to 2009, which are otherwise exercisable, may be exercised shall not exceed: (i) one year from the date of such termination of employment in the case of death; (ii) two years from the date of such termination in the case of permanent and total disability (within the meaning of Section 22(e)(3) of the Code) or retirement; and (iii) three months from the date of such termination of employment in the case of other disability; provided, however, that in no event shall the period extend beyond the expiration of the option term. To the extent that any option granted prior to 2009 is not otherwise exercisable as of the date on which the grantee ceases to be employed by the Company or any subsidiary, the unexercisable portion of the option shall terminate as of such date. Under the terms of the 2004 Equity Compensation Plan, as amended and restated as of January 1, 2009, and under the terms of the 2009 Omnibus Equity Compensation Plan, grantees of stock options in 2009 or thereafter will continue to vest in unvested stock option grants following termination of the grantee’s employment as a result of retirement, provided the grantee does not violate the covenant not to compete provisions of his/her grant, and unvested stock option grants will be immediately vested if the termination of the grantee’s employment is due to his/her disability or death. The period during which stock options may be exercised shall not exceed: (i) one year from the date of such termination of employment in the case of death; (ii) thirty-eight months from the date of such termination in the case of retirement or disability, provided, however, that in no event shall the period extend beyond the expiration of the option term. The Compensation Committee, in its sole discretion, may determine that any portion of an option that has not become exercisable as of the date of the grantee’s death, termination of employment on account of permanent and total disability or other termination of employment may be exercised by a grantee, or in the case of death, a grantee’s legal representative or beneficiary. For restricted stock grants made prior to 2009, if a grantee’s regular full-time employment terminates prior to the vesting of a restricted stock grant, the restricted stock grant terminates as to all unvested shares. Under the terms of the 2004 Equity
 
44
 

 

Compensation Plan, as amended and restated as of January 1, 2009, and under the terms of the 2009 Omnibus Equity Compensation Plan, grantees of restricted stock in 2009 or thereafter will (i) continue to vest in their unvested grants following the grantee’s termination of employment as a result of retirement, (ii) vest in a pro-rata portion of unvested grants following the grantee’s termination of employment as a result of early retirement, (iii) vest immediately in unvested grants following the grantee’s termination of employment as a result of death or disability. The Compensation Committee may, however, provide for complete or partial exceptions to these provisions as it deems equitable. Under the terms of the 2004 Equity Compensation Plan, as amended and restated as of January 1, 2009, and under the terms of the 2009 Omnibus Equity Compensation Plan, except as otherwise determined by the Compensation Committee, no payment of any accrued dividend equivalent amount shall be made to any grantee unless the grantee is a regular full-time employee of the Company or any of its subsidiaries as of March 1 prior to the payment, unless the grantee’s termination of employment was a result of the grantee’s retirement, death or disability.
 
     The total estimated value of the payments that would be triggered by a termination following a change-incontrol, a termination other than for cause without a change-in-control, retirement, death or disability for the named executive officers calculated assuming that the triggering event for the payments occurred on December 31, 2010 and assuming a value for our Common Stock as of December 31, 2010 for purposes of valuing the vesting of the equity incentives are set forth below.
 
Nicholas De Benedictis
 
    Change-in-                
        Control       Termination       Retirement       Death       Disability
Payments and Benefits Upon Separation   $   $   $   $   $
Triggered Payments and Benefits                    
Severance Payment   2,827,945   554,499      
Prorated current year bonus   388,149   388,149   388,149   388,149   388,149
Acceleration of option vesting   459,067        
Payment of accrued dividend equivalents   105,875     105,875   105,875   105,875
Vesting of restricted stock   2,270,458        
Continuation of welfare benefits   68,604   11,434      
Outplacement services   30,000        
Transfer of life insurance policy          
 
Vested Retirement Benefits                    
Incremental pension value above that included in the                    
       Pension Benefits Table          
Present value of retiree medical benefits   80,721   80,721   80,721     80,721
 
Total   6,230,819   1,034,803   574,745   494,024   574,745

45
 

 

Roy H. Stahl
 
    Change-in-                
        Control       Termination       Retirement       Death       Disability
Payments and Benefits Upon Separation   $   $   $   $   $
Triggered Payments and Benefits                    
Severance Payment   800,916   143,021      
Prorated current year bonus   114,417   114,417   114,417   114,417   114,417
Acceleration of option vesting   106,484        
Payment of accrued dividend equivalents   25,455       25,455   25,455   25,455
Vesting of restricted stock   363,412        
Continuation of welfare benefits   91,751   22,938      
Outplacement services   15,000        
 
Vested Retirement Benefits                    
Incremental pension value above that included in the                    
       Pension Benefits Table   84,604   84,604   84,604     29,884
Present value of retiree medical benefits   150,465   150,465   150,465     150,465
 
Total   1,752,504   515,444   374,941   139,872   320,221

David P. Smeltzer
 
    Change-in-                
        Control       Termination       Retirement       Death       Disability
Payments and Benefits Upon Separation   $   $   $   $   $
Triggered Payments and Benefits                    
Severance Payment   797,690   142,445      
Prorated current year bonus   113,956   113,956   113,956   113,956   113,956
Acceleration of option vesting   138,550        
Payment of accrued dividend equivalents   30,350     30,350   30,350   30,350
Vesting of restricted stock   340,932        
Continuation of welfare benefits   93,157   23,289      
Outplacement services   15,000        
 
Vested Retirement Benefits                    
Incremental pension value above that included in the                    
       Pension Benefits Table   179,175   179,175       103,443
Present value of retiree medical benefits          
 
Total   1,708,810   458,865   144,306   144,306   247,749

46
 

 

Karl M. Kyriss
 
    Change-in-                
        Control       Termination       Retirement       Death       Disability
Payments and Benefits Upon Separation   $   $   $   $   $
Triggered Payments and Benefits                    
Severance Payment   641,304   123,328      
Prorated current year bonus   73,997   73,997   73,997   73,997   73,997
Acceleration of option vesting   117,686        
Payment of accrued dividend equivalents   24,425     24,425   24,425   24,425
Vesting of restricted stock   224,800        
Continuation of welfare benefits   69,655   17,414      
Outplacement services   15,000        
 
Vested Retirement Benefits                    
Incremental pension value above that included in the                    
       Pension Benefits Table           126,306
Present value of retiree medical benefits   104,287   104,287   104,287     104,287
 
Total   1,271,154   319,025   202,709   98,422   329,015

Christopher H. Franklin
 
    Change-in-                
        Control       Termination       Retirement       Death       Disability
Payments and Benefits Upon Separation   $   $   $   $   $
Triggered Payments and Benefits                    
Severance Payment   626,453   123,328      
Prorated current year bonus   72,283   72,283   72,283   72,283   72,283
Acceleration of option vesting   117,686        
Payment of accrued dividend equivalents   24,425     24,425   24,425   24,425
Vesting of restricted stock   224,800        
Continuation of welfare benefits   91,751   22,938            
Outplacement services   15,000        
 
Vested Retirement Benefits                    
Incremental pension value above that included in the                    
       Pension Benefits Table   55,459   55,459       183,563
Present value of retiree medical benefits          
 
Total   1,227,857   274,007   96,708   96,708   280,271

47
 

 

     The amounts shown in the tables above reflect the excess of the value of pension benefits under each of the triggering events over the value included in the Pension Benefits table on page 38. The total values calculated, prior to the offset for the amount shown in the Pension Benefits table are calculated as set forth below.
 
Termination
 
     Once vested, participants are eligible to receive qualified benefits under the Retirement Plan and nonqualified benefits from the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and the SERP. Benefits vest upon attaining five years of service. Pension benefits for Messrs. DeBenedictis, Franklin, Kyriss, Smeltzer and Stahl are vested and payable from the Retirement Plan as well as the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan. Additionally, Mr. DeBenedictis is eligible and vested in his benefit payable from the SERP.
 
     The full value of the benefits payable due to termination is determined based on the assumed timing and form of the benefits payable as follows: the benefits for Messrs. DeBenedictis, Kyriss and Stahl are payable as an immediate life annuity from the Retirement Plan and an immediate lump sum payment (transferred to the Company’s Executive Deferral Plan) from the non-qualified plans; and the benefits for Mr. Franklin and Mr. Smeltzer are payable as a life annuity beginning at age 55 from the Retirement Plan and an immediate lump sum payment at age 55 from the non-qualified plans. Benefits have been reduced for early commencement by 3% per year of commencement prior to age 65.
 
Retirement
 
     In the case of retirement, the present value of benefits is determined in the same manner as termination. Mr. Kyriss and Mr. Stahl are eligible for early retirement from the qualified Retirement Plan and Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan. Mr. DeBenedictis is eligible for retirement from the qualified Retirement Plan, the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and the SERP. Mr. Franklin and Mr. Smeltzer are not currently eligible to retire.
 
Death
 
     Vested benefits under the Retirement Plan are payable to the participant’s surviving spouse as a single life annuity upon the death of the participant. The benefit will be paid to the spouse as early as the deceased participant’s earliest retirement age (age 55 with ten years of service or age 65). The benefit will be equal to 75% of the benefit calculated as if the participant had separated from service on the date of death (assumed to be December 31, 2010 in the table), survived to the earliest retirement age and retired with a qualified contingent annuity. Vested benefits under the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and the SERP are payable to the participant’s surviving spouse as a lump sum (or in certain cases transferred to the Company’s Executive Deferral Plan) upon the death of the participant. The benefit will be equal to 75% (100% for Mr. DeBenedictis) of the benefit calculated as if the participant had separated from service on the date of death (assumed to be December 31, 2010 in the table), survived to the earliest retirement age and retired with a qualified contingent annuity. For each of the participants, the total present value of pension benefits payable upon death is less than the amount shown in the Pension Benefits Table. For purposes of the benefit calculations shown, spouses are assumed to be three years younger than the participant.
 
     In 2010, the Supplemental Pension Benefit Plan and Mr. DeBenedictis’ SERP were amended to provide, in the event of Mr. DeBenedictis separation from service due to death, the surviving spouse benefit under those Plans will be an amount equal to the actuarial equivalent value of the surviving spouse benefit that would have been paid had Mr. DeBenedictis retired on the day prior to the day of his death, instead of the normal benefit of a 75% joint and survivor annuity determined as if he had retired on the day prior to his death.
 
Disability
 
     If an individual is terminated as a result of a disability with less than ten years of service, the benefits are payable in the same amount and form as an individual who is terminated. Individuals who terminate employment as a result of a disability with at least ten years of service are entitled to future accruals until age 65 (or earlier date if elected by the participant) assuming level future earnings and continued service. The benefits are not payable until age 65, unless elected by the participant for an earlier age. Upon the attainment of age 65, the individual would be entitled to the same options as an individual who retired from the Retirement Plan.
 
48
 

 

     Messrs. DeBenedictis, Franklin, Kyriss, Smeltzer and Stahl have each completed ten years of service. Therefore, for purposes of this present value calculation, participants are assumed to accrue additional service and earnings until age 65, at which time pension payments are assumed to commence.
 
Change-in-Control
 
     Upon a Change-in-Control, the benefits payable to each of the named executives will be the same as those described in the Termination section above.
 
DIRECTOR COMPENSATION
 
     The following table sets forth the compensation paid to the Aqua America Board of Directors in 2010.
 
Director Compensation
 
                                        Change in                
                    Pension        
                    Value and        
    Fees           Non-Equity   Nonqualified        
    Earned           Incentive   Deferred        
    or Paid   Stock   Option   Plan   Compensation   All Other    
    in Cash   Awards   Awards   Compensation   Earnings   Compensation   Total
Name   ($)(1)   ($)(2)   ($)   ($)   ($)   ($)   ($)
Mary C. Carroll   43,000   34,880           77,880
Nicholas DeBenedictis (3)              
Richard H. Glanton   49,000   34,880           83,880
Lon R. Greenberg   52,000   34,880           86,880
William P. Hankowsky   61,000   34,880           95,880
Mario Mele   40,000   34,880           74,880
Ellen T. Ruff   46,000   34,880           80,880
Richard L. Smoot   53,000   34,880           87,880
Andrew J. Sordoni III   41,500   34,880           76,380
____________________
 
Notes:
 
(1)       Includes: (a) an annual cash retainer of $28,000 per year; (b) Board meeting fees of $1,500 per meeting; (c) Committee meeting fees of $1,500 per meeting; and (d) annual Committee Chair retainers of $10,000 for the Chair of the Audit Committee and $7,500 for the Chairs of the other Committees. The amount for Ms. Carroll includes $3,000 for her attendance at two meetings of the Pension Committee as the Board's representative to this management Committee.
 
(2)   Directors received an annual stock grant of 2,000 shares on the first of the month following the Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The grant date fair value of stock and option awards is based on their fair market value on the date of grant as determined under SFAS 123R. The assumptions used in calculating the fair market value under SFAS 123R are set forth in the Employee Stock and Incentive Plan footnote to the Company's audited financial statements in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
(3)   As an officer of the Company, Mr. DeBenedictis does not receive any fees for his service on the Board of Directors.

49
 

 

REPORT OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE
 
     The Audit Committee oversees the Company’s financial reporting process on behalf of the Board of Directors. Management has the primary responsibility for the financial statements and the reporting process, including the system of internal control. In fulfilling its oversight responsibilities, the Audit Committee reviewed and discussed with management the audited financial statements in the Annual Report, including: the quality of the accounting principles, practices and judgments; the reasonableness of significant judgments; the clarity of disclosures in the financial statements; and the integrity of the Company’s financial reporting processes and controls. The Committee also discussed the selection and evaluation of the independent registered public accounting firm, including the review of all relationships between the independent registered public accounting firm and the Company.
 
     The Audit Committee reviewed with the independent registered public accounting firm, which is responsible for expressing an opinion on the conformity of those audited financial statements with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America, their judgments as to the quality of the Company’s accounting principles and such other matters as required to be discussed by the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 61, as amended (AICPA, Professional Standards, Vol. 1 AU Section 380), as adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in Rule 3200T. In addition, the Audit Committee has discussed with the independent registered public accounting firm the firm’s independence from management and the Company, including the matters in the written disclosures required by the applicable requirements of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding the independent accountant’s communications with the audit committee concerning independence, and considered the compatibility of non-audit services with the accountants’ independence.
 
     The Audit Committee discussed with the Company’s internal auditors and independent registered public accounting firm, the overall scope and plans for their respective audits. The Audit Committee meets with the internal auditors and independent registered public accounting firm, with and without management present, to discuss the results of their examinations, their evaluations of the Company’s internal controls, and the overall quality of the Company’s financial reporting.
 
     In reliance on the reviews and discussions referred to above, the Audit Committee recommended to the Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors approved, the inclusion of the Company’s audited financial statements in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 for filing with the SEC.
 
  Respectfully submitted,
   
  Richard L. Smoot, Chairman
  William P. Hankowsky
  Andrew J. Sordoni, III
  Lon R. Greenberg

50
 

 

     The foregoing reports of the Audit Committee and the Executive Compensation Committee shall not be deemed incorporated by reference by any general statement incorporating by reference this proxy statement into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates this information by reference, and shall not otherwise be deemed filed under such Acts.
 
(PROPOSAL NO. 2)
 
RATIFICATION OF THE APPOINTMENT OF PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP AS THE INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR THE COMPANY FOR THE 2011 FISCAL YEAR
 
     The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”) as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for the 2011 fiscal year. PwC has been the Company’s independent registered public accountants since 2000. The Board of Directors recommends that the Shareholders ratify the appointment.
 
     Although Shareholder ratification of the appointment of PwC is not required by law or the Company’s Bylaws, the Board of Directors believes that it is desirable to give our shareholders the opportunity to ratify the appointment. If the shareholders do not ratify the appointment of PwC, the Audit Committee will take this into consideration and may or may not consider the appointment of another independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for 2011 or for future years. Even if the appointment of PwC is ratified, the Audit Committee may, in its discretion, direct the appointment of a different independent registered public accounting firm during the year if the Audit Committee determines such a change would be in the best interests of the Company. Representatives of PwC are expected to be present at the 2011 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, will have the opportunity to make a statement at the meeting if they desire to do so, and will be available to respond to appropriate questions.
 
     PwC has informed us that they are not aware of any independence-related relationships between their firm and us other than the professional services discussed in “Services and Fees” below.
 
     Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“Sarbanes-Oxley”), the Audit Committee is responsible for the appointment, compensation and oversight of the work of the independent registered public accounting firm. As a result, the Audit Committee is required to pre-approve the audit and non-audit services performed by the independent registered public accounting firm in order to assure that such services do not impair the auditor’s independence from the Company. The Audit Committee has established a procedure to pre-approve all auditing and non-auditing fees proposed to be provided by the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm prior to engaging the accountants for that purpose. Consideration and approval of such services occurs at the Audit Committee’s regularly scheduled meetings. All fees and services were approved by the Audit Committee for the 2010 fiscal year.
 
SERVICES AND FEES
 
     The following table presents the fees paid to PwC for professional services rendered with respect to the 2010 fiscal year and 2009 fiscal year:
 
  Fiscal Year
  2010       2009
Audit Fees (1) $ 1,112,500   $ 1,140,955
Audit-Related Fees   0     0
Tax Fees (2)   28,500     29,000
All Other Fees (3)   3,000     3,000
Total $ 1,144,000   $ 1,172,955
 
____________________
 
(1)       Represents fees for any professional services provided in connection with the audit of the Company’s annual financial statements (including the audit of internal control over financial reporting), reviews of the Company’s interim financial statements included in Form 10-Qs, audits of the Company’s subsidiaries and services in connection with the issuance of securities.
 
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(2)       Represents fees for any professional services in connection with the review of the Company’s federal and state tax returns and advisory services for other tax compliance, tax planning and tax advice.
 
(3)   Represents software licensing fees for accounting research tools and disclosure checklists.
 
     The Board of Directors unanimously recommends that the shareholders vote FOR the ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the 2011 fiscal year.>
 
(PROPOSAL NO. 3)
 
ADVISORY VOTE ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
 
     In accordance with recent legislation, the Company is presenting its shareholders with an advisory (non-binding) vote on the executive compensation programs as described in this Proxy Statement for our named executive officers (sometimes referred to as “Say on Pay”). Accordingly, the following resolution is being presented by the Board of Directors at the 2011 Annual Meeting:
 
“RESOLVED, that the compensation paid to the company’s named executive officers, as disclosed pursuant to Item 402 of Regulation S-K, including the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, compensation tables and narrative discussion, is hereby APPROVED.”
 
     This vote is non-binding. The Board of Directors and the Executive Compensation Committee, which is comprised of independent directors, expect to take into account the outcome of the vote when considering future executive compensation decisions to the extent they can determine the cause or causes of any significant negative voting results.
 
     As described in detail under our Compensation Discussion and Analysis on pages 19 through 30 of this Proxy Statement, our executive compensation programs are designed to motivate our executives to achieve our primary goals of providing our customers with quality, cost-effective and reliable water and wastewater services and providing our shareholders with a long-term, positive return on their investment. We believe that our executive compensation program, with its balance of short-term incentives and long-term incentives, and share ownership guidelines reward sustained performance that is aligned with the interests of our customers, employees and long-term shareholders. Shareholders are encouraged to read the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, the accompanying compensation tables and the related narrative disclosure.
 
     The Board of Directors unanimously recommends that you vote FOR the approval, on an advisory basis, of the executive compensation programs for our named executive officers as disclosed in the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, the accompanying compensation tables and the related narrative disclosure in this Proxy Statement.>
 
(PROPOSAL NO. 4)
 
ADVISORY VOTE ON THE FREQUENCY OF THE
ADVISORY VOTE ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
 
     In addition to providing shareholders with the opportunity to cast an advisory vote on our executive compensation programs for our named executive officers, the Company this year is providing shareholders with an advisory vote on whether the frequency of the advisory vote on our executive compensation programs should be every 1, 2 or 3 years.
 
     The Board believes that a frequency of every 3 years for the advisory vote on our executive compensation programs is the optimal interval for conducting and responding to a “Say on Pay” vote. This interval between “Say on Pay” votes will provide the Executive Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors sufficient time to attempt to (a) evaluate the shareholders’ vote, (b) determine the nature of any shareholders’ concerns with the Company’s executive compensation programs, (c) design and implement changes to attempt to address those concerns and (d) determine the effectiveness of those changes before the revised programs are resubmitted to shareholders for another “Say on Pay” vote. A 3 year interval will also give shareholders more time to evaluate the effectiveness of the
 
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Company’s executive compensation programs. Shareholders who have concerns about our executive compensation programs during the interval between “Say on Pay” votes are welcome to bring their specific concerns to the attention of the Board of Directors. Please refer to “Communications with the Company or Independent Directors” on page 57 in this Proxy Statement for information about communicating with the Board.
 
     The proxy card provides shareholders with the opportunity to choose among four options (holding the vote every 1, 2 or 3 years, or abstaining) and, therefore, shareholders will not be voting to approve or disapprove the Board’s recommendation.
 
     Although this advisory vote on the frequency of the “Say on Pay” vote is non-binding, the Board and the Executive Compensation Committee will take into account the outcome of the vote when considering the frequency of future advisory votes on the Company’s executive compensation programs.
 
     The Board of Directors unanimously recommends that you vote for the option of every “3 years” for future advisory votes on the Company’s executive compensation programs.>
 
(PROPOSAL NO. 5)
 
SHAREHOLDER PROPOSAL
 
     The Utility Workers Union of America, which beneficially owned 100 shares of the Company’s Common Stock for at least one year prior to November 29, 2010, the date it submitted the shareholder proposal, submitted the following shareholder proposal:
 
RESOLVED: The shareholders of Aqua America, Inc. (the “Company”) urge the Board of Directors to take the necessary steps, in compliance with state law, to declassify the Board for the purpose of director elections. This should be accomplished in a manner that does not affect the unexpired terms of directors previously elected.
 
Supporting Statement
 
     Our Company’s Board is divided into three classes of directors serving staggered three-year terms. Under this structure, shareholders elect only approximately one-third of the directors each year.
 
     We believe a classified board reduces the accountability of directors to shareholders. Directors elected only once every three years are less likely to maintain their independence from management, while directors standing for election every year are more likely to focus on shareholder concerns. The Council of Institutional Investors, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, and TIAA-CREF have all adopted guidelines favoring the annual election of all directors.
 
     In fact, Aqua America is one of very few significant utility companies that still maintain this undemocratic structure. In the case of publicly-traded water utility companies, both American Water and California Water Service Group maintain declassified board structures, and therefore elect all of their directors to annual terms every year.
 
     Numerous other utility companies have abandoned classified boards in recent years, including CenterPoint, Duke, Exelon, FirstEnergy, Integrys, NiSource, Reliant, and Sempra. Many other companies, including AEP, Consolidated Edison, Dominion, Entergy, and Consumers Energy, have provided for the annual election of all directors for many years.
 
     Based on this evidence, we believe our Company’s retention of a classified Board of Directors has become an embarrassing anachronism that should be abandoned as soon as possible in favor of the annual election of all directors. In addition to insulating management and directors from shareholders, a classified board reduces the flexibility of the Board to nominate new directors, for example to replace directors who may be underperforming, or to bring fresh perspectives to the Board’s deliberations.
 
     Finally, significant evidence exists that a classified board may reduce shareholder value. For example, a study in 2005 by Harvard Law School’s Lucian Bebchuk a