Super goes through the roof

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a superannuation hiring boom.

Allen Tingey, principal at financial services recruitment firm Porterallen Hendren in Sydney, says business developers are feeling the full force of the thrust - with salaries more than doubling in the past five years and the introduction of bonuses.

"Business development brings in the money so it is the highest-paid component. If you haven't got market share, you can't get the bulk - and if you haven't got bulk, you don't get profits," he says. "Somebody with three to five years' experience would be earning up to AU$150k as base salary, with anything up to 100% of that in bonuses."

By comparison, Tingey says a superannuation administrator at the simple end would be earning mid-AU$50k, and at the complex end, mid-AU$80k.

What is the 'complex end'? "A defined benefit scheme is more complex than an industry fund and there is a significant reward difference between administrators in those funds," says Tingey.

Storming demand for business developers reflects the industry's growth - superannuation contributions for the 2006-07 financial year are likely to reach AU$114bn, up a staggering 42% from last year.

Louise Langridge, managing director at recruiter Morgan McKinley in Sydney, says the product development and management area of superannuation is also lucrative. A product developer with three to five years' experience can expect a salary between AU$120k and AU$150k - plus a 20% to 50% bonus.

Accountants and financiers traditionally went into superannuation careers, but nowadays Langridge says recruiters are more flexible, and willing even to accept people from fast-moving consumer goods backgrounds. "Those skills can translate well into product development in financial services," she says.

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