UK - Close to two-thirds (62%) of UK occupational pension fund trustees believe they should be paid because of ever-increasing pensions expertise requirements, according to an independent survey.

Between January and March this year, Pension Corporation interviewed 243 individuals managing approximately £50bn (€58bn) of pension fund assets in aggregate. Of these, 142 were lay trustees and 101 were independent trustees, consultants and pension managers.

As to why trustees should be paid, 55% of respondents said it was because of increasing pensions expertise required, with 17% citing the significant level of responsibility, and 14% the amount of unrecognised time spent on their trustees' duties.

David Collinson, head of origination at Pension Corporation, said: "The responsibilities and requirements for trustees have grown significantly over the last five years. This is a result of more -- and more complex - legislation, and also clarification as to the rules for running trusts. Trustees do an admirable job, but if you pay people, it does add an extra layer of professionalism."

Collinson added: "The options that trustees have to consider have grown more complicated, and therefore require a fuller understanding - for example, they have the obligation to understand all the de-risking options open to them. It is also vital for them to understand how these options might work, a significant additional area of complexity."

According to Collinson, a paid trustee in the UK could typically earn between £10,000 and £20,000 per year for their part-time role.

He added: "In any other sector, you would get paid for managing hundreds of millions of pounds. In fact, many employers could spend as much on legal advice in a week as they would pay a trustee for a year."

And Collinson warned that demand for pension fund trustees would continue to grow.

Meanwhile, Pension Insurance Company, Pension Corporation's parent, was reported to have been sent a letter by the FSA asking it to explain aspects of its investment strategy. It has since reportedly addressed the issues concerned.

Both the FSA and Pension Corporation declined to comment.