5. Personnel costs

Personnel costs consisted of the following:

(€ thousand) 2012 2011
Wages and salaries 20,223 15,547
Defined contribution plans and social security contributions 8,166 5,968
Leaving entitlement and other defined benefit plans 655 149
Other personnel costs 7,010 13,508
Total personnel costs 36,054 35,172

The average number of employees increased to 219 from 104 in 2011. On 1 December 2011, headcount increased by 120 people following the acquisition – from Fiat-Revisione Interna S.c.p.A. and Fiat Finance S.p.A. – of units that provide internal audit and financial advisory services to Fiat S.p.A. and Group companies. As described in Note 4, certain of the Company’s managers carried out their activities at the Group’s principal subsidiaries and the related costs were recharged to those companies.

The costs associated with defined contribution plans consisted of amounts paid by the Company to the Italian state social security organization (INPS) and other social security and assistance organizations for post-employment defined contribution plans (pension and healthcare) on behalf of employees in all categories. Following the introduction of Law 296/06, leaving entitlements in Italy (trattamento di fine rapporto) accrued from 1 January 2007 and paid in to supplementary pension funds or the fund established by INPS are recognized under "Defined contribution plans and social security contributions", while adjustments to the provision for leaving entitlement accrued before 1 January 2007 are recognized under “Leaving entitlement and other defined benefit plans” (see also Note 19).

Social security contributions represent amounts paid by the Company to social security agencies in relation to short-term benefits for situations such as illness, injury and compulsory maternity leave.

Other personnel costs related mainly to accruals for variable compensation, leaving incentives and insurance.

For 2012, compensation to executives with strategic responsibilities was €9,543 thousand (€7,162 thousand of which was charged back to the Group companies where they carried out their activities). The total cost for the year includes provisions for leaving entitlements accrued during the year, as well as company contributions to state and company defined contribution schemes and other social security contributions totaling €2,650 thousand.

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