Compensation and benefits remains highest paid HR specialism

Compensation and benefits professionals are the best paid in the HR industry, taking home as much as 9% above the average salary for a senior manager.

According to the findings of this year’s Personnel Reward Survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Croner Reward (part of Wolters Kluwer), the average salary for a senior compensation and benefits manager is around £50,000 compared to the average of £45,900 paid to senior managers in other specialisms. 

The survey of more than 5,000 personnel workers also found that HR professionals in the public and voluntary sectors expect to see a dip in salary increases next year, while private sector professionals are more optimistic about their pay prospects.

In the public sector, HR predict a 2% increase for next year, compared with a rise of 2.5% in 2009. Private sector HR employees by contrast are expecting an improvement, expecting a 3% rise in 2010, compared to the 2% they received in 2009. Of all sectors, HR pay prospects in the voluntary sector are the gloomiest, with a prediction of a 2% increase in pay next year, compared with 3% last year.

The survey also lays bare the reality of the recession’s negative impact on HR pay packages this year. One in four of the total sample (25%) report having no salary increase at all in 2009. In the public sector, almost one in ten (8%) have not received a pay rise, and this jumps to nearly four in 10 (38%) in the private sector.

Bonus payouts in HR last year averaged 8.3% of base pay and the percentage ranged from 5% – 21% across job levels. The size of bonuses varied considerably across sectors but the private sector bonuses were generally higher than those in the public sector. 

Charles Cotton, reward adviser at CIPD said: “As you would expect, most HR professionals have – along with their colleagues – suffered pay freezes or reduced increases this year, especially in the private sector. Predictions for next year seem to be aligned with wider economic forecasts, with HR in both the public and voluntary sectors bracing themselves for even tougher times ahead. HR in the private sector has really felt the pinch this year, but many are hoping the upturn will make things a little easier for 2010.”

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