Salary Survey Commiseration

The 2022 salary survey is out. I should be “apparently” be making around $230k total comp as a life FSA with 14 years.

I got a promotion and a market adjustment last year, combined of a little over 25% increase. So clearly I was underpaid (I knew that, so did my employer).

I don’t think I’m still super underpaid, for my area. And I try not to care about this survey data, since I know it includes people from much higher COL areas. But it still sure can get demoralizing to be 15% under when you’ve gotten “exceeds expectations” in 85% of your annual performance reviews.

I’m not going to change jobs. I’m not going to ask for more money. I just want to be a grump for a few minutes.

And I’m HOPING that I’m not the only one who feels this way, maybe? That would help more than anything.


A couple thoughts…

First is that self-reported pay information is always biased high

Second is that it’s a very skewed distribution… it’s not super easy to see but at least on the FCAS one I’d bet median is a good 10-20% lower than the line…


I’m fairly close to where DWS says I should be for an ASA, but I almost have my FSA and I’m not expecting the almost $30k bump that DWS says I’ll magically get. I think I’m ok with that (happy with where I am currently), but we’ll see how I feel when I get there.

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People lie on the survey to feel good.
This is not new.
I’m probably where I’m supposed to be at if I hit maximum bonus (which doesn’t happen).

Then again, I’m an IC by choice. I imagine managers get paid more. I also work like 5 hours a week, so can’t complain.

I’ve always been low. I’ve reasoned that it’s acceptable because I enjoyed my job and got tons of vacation. Now, not even that is true.

Jumping ship twice in the past 2 years certainly bumped up my salary by about 70%. So, there’s only one solution if you feel underpaid.

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Yeah, loyalty is overrated

I have pretty much always been on the low end. One might assume there is a reason for that, but I know (literally bc I had a conversation with someone who would hire me recently) I can get a job tomorrow at a significantly higher rate. I am not making that choice for reasons.

It has bothered me different amounts over the years but I have mostly made peace with it. So no, you aren’t alone.

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I wonder how many outright lie, vs doing something like baking in optimistic bonus numbers or whatever.

The data also gets pretty thin on the far end of yrs experience, so I’d put less stock in numbers if you have 20+ yrs experience.

I couldn’t find the 2021 data on DWS so I grabbed it from the Wayback Machine. For me (health ASA) it’s up about 20% from last year, which I had not expected.


I don’t put much stock in salaries for experienced fellows, since there is a wide variety among people among various locations, types of jobs and management level. I work as an individual contributor for a non-profit in a medium COL area so I will definitely be on the low end of whatever surveys there are. Job satisfaction and work-life balance are way more important to me than $$$.

There was one job where I felt grossly underpaid, was living in NYC and on the low end based on my experience and exams. (I may have even been below the chart, was so long ago my memory was fuzzy.) After 2 years at that company I got a 50% bump in salary by moving to a new job, was much better job satisfaction. The main drawback was a much longer commute, though it was all by mass transit so was good for getting in study time.

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Woman earn 82% of men’s salaries on average, so that sounds about right


Not to get too sidetracked, but I had a former boss tell me (and I think this opinion is commonplace) that women make less than men because they don’t want to make as much. They don’t want to be promoted, they want work-life balance and most would choose to stay home with their kids if they could.

If looks could kill, I would be one of the case studies on the ABCD professionalism decks about revoking credentials for murder.


I think his mindset is commonplace, most are smart enough not to say it aloud.

As to the original, was the survey separated by position? Were Chief Actuaries separate, or Senior Level officers?

I had my boss’s boss say something similar to me after he’d had a couple cocktails at a dinner. I replied, somewhat loudly, “Are you trying to explain to me why i, as a childless female, am making less than my male counterparts?”
He said nothing and everyone else pretended not to hear me.
I had also just accepted another job, for a LOT more money, and just hadn’t put in my 2 weeks notice yet. I doubt i would’ve been that bold (at that point in my career) without the other job already lined up.

Also, I’ve had jobs well below and well above the average of these salary surveys. I’m always happier on the low end.


I saw a bit on reddit along those lines… women don’t want to make too much for fear of emasculating their male partner :laughing:

If you’re at a job for a long time and you’re being appreciated then there is a risk involved in changing jobs so one would expect to be compensated for that risk. I know I could make more money elsewhere but I have no way of knowing if it’s going to be a good place to work.


My husband (who is a SAHP), likes to respond to that with something along the lines of, “I wouldn’t mind if my wife emasculated me a little more! It’s soo embarrassing that she’s successful in her career and we get to both be happy with our options.”


My saying was - I don’t care if my wife makes more that me, as long as I don’t make less than her.

If not clear, as long as I am earning what I feel I should, I would have loved for her to earn more

I preferred to see regional breakouts before but they stopped that. I mean data may be low but still interesting.

I’m well underpaid for the survey, overpaid for the work.

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