Mercer has been appointed to provide pension administration services by the trustees of the Loomis UK Ltd Pension Scheme. Loomis is a leading provider of cash handling services for banks, retailers, and other commercial enterprises. The appointment is part of an initiative to streamline its pension provider arrangements and reduce costs, and follows Mercer’s appointment last year to provide implemented consulting. Mercer is an existing provider for actuarial, investment, and benefit consulting services.
Loomis UK has a defined contribution (DC) scheme with 900 members and a defined benefit (DB) scheme with 1,700 members. The pensions administration services, which cover both DB and DC, include annuity broking. Mercer’s implemented consulting services, for the DB scheme, involve manager selection and execution using Mercer’s own dedicated investment platform.
NEST Corporation has announced the fund managers winning its first five mandates that will together provide the building blocks for the NEST yearly target-date funds, its default fund offering. According to a NEST news release:
Mandate 1—Passive Global Equities went to UBS Life World Equity Tracker. This fund, managed by UBS Global Asset Management Life Ltd, tracks the FTSE All-World Developed Index.
Mandate 2—Passive UK Gilts went to State Street UK Conventional Gilts All Stocks Index Fund. This fund tracks the performance of the FTSE Actuaries UK Gilts All Stocks Index.
Mandate 3—Passive UK Index-Linked Gilts went to State Street UK Index-Linked Gilts over 5 Years Index Fund. This fund tracks the performance of the FTSE Actuaries UK Index Linked Gilts over 5 year Index.
Mandate 4—Sterling Cash went to BlackRock Aquila Cash Fund. This low risk fund aims to maximise current income, consistent with preservation of principal and liquidity, by the maintenance of a portfolio of high quality short-term Sterling ‘money market’ instruments.
Mandate 5—Diversified Beta went to BlackRock—Aquila Life Market Advantage Fund. This fund, managed by BlackRock Asset Management Pensions Ltd, invests in a wide range of asset classes, primarily through Blackrock’s range of pooled index funds. This fund’s objective is to deliver returns similar to a 60% equity:40% bond portfolio over the long run, with 40% lower risk. A key feature of the fund’s asset allocation process is the focus on risk management, which designs a portfolio that has a balanced exposure to the range of fundamental risks, and incorporates strategies to manage portfolio risk at market extremes.
The Department for Education has renewed its contract with Capita to run the teachers’ pension scheme. Guardian Professional reports the seven-year contract is worth £80m, with an option to extend for up to three years. It will run from October 2011, when the current contract with Capita ends. The teachers’ pension scheme is the second largest pension scheme in the country with 1.6 million members and has been administered by Capita since 1996. According to Guardian Professional, the department said in a statement that companies bidding to administer the scheme had to demonstrate their ability to deliver a high quality, flexible, innovative, and value for money service.