Pensions Salary Survey

30th July 2023

Annually we track remuneration trends nationwide across in-house, third party, consultancy and niche specialists. Following the recent pandemic and past year of economic turmoil the Pensions industry has continued to be extremely busy, supporting organisations to be able to meet increasingly demanding and complex requirements for their Pension arrangements. The cost of living crisis has only fuelled The Great Resignation, which has seen people leaving their jobs at the highest rate since 2009 with businesses needing to work with their recruiters on innovative and effective strategies. 

We speak daily with companies actively hiring, with well-practised virtual interviewing and onboarding processes and increased flexible working patterns now widely available from fully remote to hybrid. In a continuing candidate-driven market career opportunity, benefits packages, flexibility and a nimble recruitment process are essential to attract and retain talented individuals.

As an industry, Pensions attracts individuals who will have a structured career path across their working life, and equally individuals who may take a more varied path including those who move into this field mid or later career.
Here are just a few of the career paths this industry offers at the entry/junior level:
There are a number of career paths open to you, depending in part of the structure of the training and development scheme you undertake, for example if you are qualifying as a lawyer, an actuary or an accountant (to name a few) but also the areas of the industry that are of interest to you, for example working in consultancy or for an in-house Pensions department, or if you are interested in specialising in certain areas such as administraion, project management, IT and accounts (again just a few examples of the numerous areas this industry offers). 

For entry level candidates, the most typical route into Pensions would be Trainee/Graduate Pensions Administrator positions. Salaries for this level do vary, but there is no doubt that with the right support and driven attitude, alongside salary increases with each exam taken in further professional qualifications, there is no limit to how quickly this can increase. These salaries do align very similarly from In-house to Consultancy/Third Party, with little difference at this level. 

Congratulations, you have been rewarded for your hard work and now have been promoted! Salaries across Pensions/Senior Pensions Administrators have seen the largest overhaul in the last few months, with a number of employers recognising the lack of talent in the market at this level. Salaries have remained fairly competitive across in-house employers, with the most notable increase across third-party/consultancy. 

Longer-term career paths could include management through to Operations Director, or moving into more specialist project management or client relationship management to name but a few. 

2022/2023 has been another busy period of activity, company acquisitions and mergers, legislative developments, Brexit and economic challenges for pension schemes’ funding and investment strategies including Evironmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations.

Pension regulations and changes continue to mount up. Employer trust pension schemes moving to master trusts at the highest rates ever seen, partially driven by legislation affecting pension schemes with assets under £100m with trustees seeing the economies of scale that master trusts can provide. Auto enrolment developments are expected to start evolving in 2023 such as a drop in entry age and removal of lower thresholds, which will increase pension budgets. 

Employers’ requirements will continue to increase in order to meet these demands for the foreseeable future, in turn increasing the need to recruit talented Pensions professionals. 

This is an industry that continues to evolve to meet these demands attracting and retaining talented, innovative and passionate individuals, offering long-term and rewarding careers where you can feel that you have made a difference. 

About the Author

Niamh McCarthy-Jones    
Senior Recruitment Consultant 

Sammons Pensions is an industry-leading, award-winning Recruitment Consultancy specialising in recruiting to Pensions market. We comprise of specialist qualified Recruitment Consultants, with over 65 years’ combined market experience, including direct industry exposure. Committed to a set of core values of honesty, integrity and professionalism, we work as a team to deliver a service we are all fiercely proud of and which is unparalleled in our market.  

We recruit on a contingency and executive-search basis, successfully placing high calibre pensions professionals, permanent, temporary and interim, at all levels junior to director. Established for over 25 years we draw on an exceptional network and market knowledge.

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