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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Solvency II actuaries break £1,000-a-day pay barrier

Actuaries working on Solvency II projects are commanding pay packets of over £1,000 per day as insurers prepare to meet the implementation deadline for the EU directive, according to recruitment firm ReThink.

Most UK firms are targeting the 1 January 2013 deadline, despite recent suggestions that a phased introduction is likely in Europe.

The IT recruiter points to recent contracts worth £1,100 per day, equivalent to around £275,000 a year, and says that salaries have almost doubled in the last 12 months, when staff were earning £600 per day.

In-demand candidates, such as actuarial systems modellers, have received pay rises of over 20% in the last six months alone, and many candidates are being offered retention bonuses of up to 25% just to stay in their current job for six months, according to the firm.

"The rush to comply with Solvency II is creating enormous demand for candidates with both actuarial and IT skills," says ReThink’s Guy Stubbing.

"These ‘hybrid’ candidates, who are qualified actuaries with IT skills and experience in areas like risk modelling and reporting systems, are in very short supply. What we are seeing now is a bidding war, which will only intensify as the deadline draws nearer."

Stubbing believes that the market is now almost entirely candidate-led and that the increased prevalence of retention bonuses means it is becoming far harder for employers to poach staff from competitors.

The shortage of qualified candidates has become so acute that insurers are increasingly having to sponsor non-EU workers to fill roles, the firm said.

"Many insurers are now in a race against time to be ready for Solvency II, and the pool of suitable candidates is dwindling," adds Stubbing.

"We have heard of qualified staff in Australia being offered £10,000 relocation bonuses as a further inducement to bring them across."