Vanguard Group, the largest mutual fund company and Chester County's biggest employer with around 10,000 workers at its Malvern headquarters and nearby offices,, has set its 2007 Partnership Plan dividend at $101.60 per point, up 10.5% from last year's $91.95, reports longtime Vanguard-watcher Daniel P. Wiener, publisher of the Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors and . (UPDATE: Vanguard spokeswoman Linda Wolahan confirmed Wiener's number.)

Wiener notes Vanguard Chairman John Brennan had wanted to boost the points to $100 by 2005, but had to slow down after a decline in the investment business forced him to cut the rate in 2002. Point values show improved sales, investment performance and productivity, Vanguard says.

"The Vanguard Partnership Plan's dividend has grown at an annualized rate of 15.9% since the Plan's inception in 1984, making it a darned good source of income growth for Vanguard's top managers," Wiener added. "By contrast, an investment in Vanguard's 500 Index fund would have compounded at a 12.4% rate."

The plan boosts Vanguard incomes by up to 30 percent for veteran employees, though top executives can get a lot more, and new employees get less, Wiener writes. He estimates Vanguard chief John Brennan's yearly compensation, which isn't publicly reported, at "between $6.5 million and $11.5 million." (UPDATE: Vanguard won't confirm that.)