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OPRA chairman gets 14% pay rise

UK – The chairman of the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority has seen her salary rise by 14%.

According to OPRA’s annual report and accounts published today Harriet Maunsell’s salary rose to 89,000 pounds (129,000 euros) in 2002-03, up from 78,000 previously.

A spokeswoman for OPRA, which is set to be replaced by a new regulator, said the rise was due to Maunsell working a four-day week from February to August, compared to her contracted three-day week.

The rise mirrors an overall rise in the body’s costs, up to 6.5 million pounds from 4.8 million pounds. Consultancy fees were up 13% at 506,000 pounds.

The government’s grant to OPRA also rose, to 15.5 million pounds, up from 12.5 million pounds. It spent 2.2 million pounds on computer systems and maintenance – up from 942,000 pounds.

The body also provided data about occupational pension schemes.

It said that 77% of all UK occupational pension schemes are defined contribution, with 77,343 of the total 100,536 occupational schemes in the UK being DC. And it says that 10.7%, or 10,821, are final salary or defined benefit. Of the rest, 3.3% were hybrid schemes – such as that unveiled by Barclays Plc earlier this week, while nine percent were not known.

The total membership of occupational schemes has fallen to 15.9 million from 16.2 million. The number of public service schemes has fallen by 10, or three percent, to 313 from 323. The membership of public service schemes has risen to 9.1 million from 8.8 million.

The total number of live schemes has fallen by more than 2,500, or 2.5%, from 103,165 at the end of March 2002 to 100,536 now.

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