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Compensation, Incentive, and Benefit Data for Financial Planners, Technical Specialists, and Support Staff

DENVER, FEBRUARY 12, 2013 – The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) released its independent salary research study that provides an in-depth review of compensation for 21 different positions based on firm size, job functions and benefits. Research indicates that the majority of financial planning practitioners who participated in the study show a pay increase compared to FPA’s 2010 survey results.

The “2012-2013 Financial Planning Compensation Study: Compensation, Incentive and Benefit Data for Financial Planners, Technical Specialists and Support Staff,” published by FPA Press, reflects data collected from more than 1,000 financial planning professionals.

The study presents a comprehensive, detailed report for a variety of firm sizes and careers, and provides specific information on compensation and benefits by various firm characteristics and region. The study also spans a wide variety of practice types, from sole practitioners to firms who manage more than a billion in assets and serve hundreds of clients.

With jobs and the economy on the rise, the study found a corresponding increase in income levels for most financial planning professional positions:

Positions with the highest pay increases included compliance officer (52 percent), CFO/bookkeeper/staff accountant/controller (35 percent), and COO/operations manager (22 percent).

  • Two-thirds of practices reported that they had plans to increase employee compensation in the coming year.
  • Eighty-five percent of CEO/owner/president positions reported being extremely satisfied with their job.
  • Seven out of 21 positions reported a pay decrease.

“The findings in FPA’s 2012-2013 Financial Planning Compensation Study mirror the growth of our profession and the economy,” said Lauren M. Schadle, CAE, FPA executive director and CEO, “The detail provided by the study is a valuable resource for firms and practices to evaluate employee compensation and help them stay competitive in today’s job market.”

The Financial Planning Salary Survey is available now in electronic format for $99 (FPA member) or $159 (FPA nonmember). To order your copy, call 800.322.4237, option 2 or email

Journalists: To obtain a copy of the research for reference, please send your request to