The average bonus paid to UK pension fund officials rose this year to £7,200 from £5,900, according to research by Greenwich Associates. This brought their average total compensation to £53,800, up 5.2% on the previous year.

Those working for plans with over £1bn in assets were paid an average of £60,300, while the UK subsidiaries of US groups paid their officials £59,300. The worst paid managers in the survey were those in the southwest and Wales, whose total packages came to £44,500.

Bjorn Forfang of Greenwich points out that for UK corporations and local authorities, pay is only marginally higher than two years ago. Pension funds managements need to ensure they are paying competitively," he says.

The survey, which covered 509 UK funds with £451bn in assets at end 1977, also found that officials were spending just a quarter of their time on pension-related matters and that the number of investment professionals in sponsors had declined. Those responsible for investments were now spending 24% of their time on the area, compared with 29% in 1996."