NPS’ per employee AUM rises to $2.1 bn in 2016: report

  • 2017-04-21

Each investment management staff at South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) oversaw 2.4 trillion won ($2.1 billion) in assets in 2016 on average, about the size of the country’s police savings fund’s total assets, as the pension scheme grappled with a flurry of senior manager departures amid soaring asset growth.

NPS’ total assets under management increased 9% to 558 trillion won at end-2016 from a year earlier. But the number of its internal fund management staff declined to 230, after about 30 employees left the NPS’ Investment Management department last year, Yonhap Infomax reported on April 20.

The pension fund’s AUM per employee is bigger than 1.5 trillion won at Korea Post where 70 in-house management employees oversaw 110 trillion won on aggregate, according to calculations by the news agency.

After NPS’ Investment Management department moved to Jeonju, about three-hour drive from Seoul, last February, it plans to hire 50 new employees by the end of this year.

To curb the outflows of core talents triggered by the office relocation and its involvement in the country’s bribery scandal, NPS is seeking to raise the basic salary of its investment division heads sharply which would narrow the pay gap with domestic asset management houses.

“Because the (NPS) Investment Management’s office is in Jeonju, it seems that many applicants want to have a brief stint there, like going to army, to boost their career,” Yonhap Infomax quoted an asset management industry source as saying. “It needs to work on helping employees at the Investment Management office work longer on a stable basis.”

For most of other major pension and retirement funds in South Korea, AUM per employee was between 100 billion won and 300 billion won.

Below are AUM details of major South Korean pension and savings funds at end-2016:

Pension/savings fund AUM per employee

(in Korean won)

AUM

(in Korean won)

Asset management staff
National Pension Service 2.4 trillion 558 trillion 230
Korea Post 1.5 trillion 110 trillion 70
Korean Teachers’ Credit Union 300 billion 22.4 trillion 73
Teachers’ Pension 300 billion 14 trillion 46
Government Employees Pension Service 230 billion 6.5 trillion 28
Yellow Umbrella Mutual Aid 300 billion 5.3 trillion 17
Construction Workers Mutual Aid Association 320 billion 3.2 trillion 10
Public Officials Benefit Association 200 billion 9.4 trillion 45
Korea Scientists & Engineers Mutual-aid Association 180 billion 4.2 trillion 23
Military Mutual Aid Association 90 billion 9.8 trillion N/A
Police Mutual Aid Association 60 billion 2.3 trillion 30~40

Source: Yonhap Infomax

Note: Per-employee AUM figures were rounded off.

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>