UK – The earnings of UK pensions staff rose by 5.9% in the last year – though the rate of growth is slowing down.

The rise comes amid 29-year lows in pension returns and daily pensions horror stories in the press.

According to salary research firm Remuneration Economics, which surveyed more than 2,500 individuals in pension management, consultancy and administration, total earnings rose by 5.9% to November 2002. With earnings having risen 8.5% in the previous year, the figures suggest a less highly rewarded market.

According to WM Co., UK pension funds reported negative investment returns of –13.9% in 2002 – the worst annual return since 1974. Stories of scheme closures and underfunding appear daily in the UK media.

Remuneration Economics found that resignation rates have fallen to 7.7% from 14%. The number of companies reporting retention problems has also fallen dramatically.

Representation of female pension specialists in the industry remains strong, but disparities between pay between males and females even at more junior levels still exists. The survey showed that for positions ranging from administrator to senior function head females earned between 500 pounds (709 euros) and 3,500 pounds (4,900 euros) less than their male counterparts – even in roles dominated by females.

Remuneration Economics’ survey is based on salary data from 53 top UK companies and over 2,699 individuals, showing data for three distinct industry groups - consultants, insurance and private sector. It is available on