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SALARIES AND PENSIONS

AJ 100

AVERAGE SALARY 2006 2005 2004 Part 3 student £25,610 £24,161 £22,931 Architect £35,687 £33,506 £32,192 Associate £45,303 £42,668 £40,991 Partner / director £73,373 £75,887 £70,186

DOES YOUR PRACTICE HAVE A PENSION SCHEME?NO 17% YES 83%

IF SO, IS IT A FINAL-SALARY PENSION SCHEME?YES 7% NO 93%

In principle, 100 per cent of practices should have said they have a pension scheme, says Kenneth Donaldson, director of pensions at Higham Group, since employers of more than five people are legally obliged to provide at least a stakeholder pension. The figures probably therefore indicate companies that operate a scheme to which they contribute.

'I am slightly surprised, ' says Donaldson, 'that it's only four-fifths.

Normally firms wrap together pension, death benefits and criticalillness in the pension plan. For a professional firm not to supply any of these is slightly surprising. It puts a lot of strain on the employees.'

Companies not currently paying into a pension scheme will be in for a shock if Lord Turner's proposed pension reforms go ahead, Donaldson warns. 'He has suggested that the employer should be compelled to pay in at least 4 per cent, with the employee paying in a further 3 per cent.

If and when compulsion comes in, not only will the employer suffer a 4 per cent drop in the bottom line, but the staff will suffer a 3 per cent drop in take-home pay.'

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