06/07/2016 - UK News: Pensions - 20 UK consultancies serve as expert witnesses in a new framework agreement.

UK News - TPR -The UK Pensions Regulator has announced that its determinations panel will have more than 20 UK consultancies serve as expert witnesses in a new framework agreement.

As part of the framework agreement, the consultancies will also offer advice on issues ranging from investment to convenant assessment and risk management matters.

Covering all 22 companies that applied - including Barnett Waddingham, Capita Hartshead, LCP, Aon hewitt, Mercer and PwC they will also be asked to provide actuarial services, with all three areas addressed for both small and large occupational pension schemes in the defined contribution and defined benefit spectrum.

A spokesman for the regulator told IPE: "This is for a framework agreement only. It is a contingency in case it is absolutely necessary to engage certain professional services in future to advise the regulator - for example, on key scheme funding cases.

A TPR spokesman said that the Pension Protection Fund would be able to request assistance from those included the agreement in an attempt to reduce tender costs.

Under the framework, the consultancies will be asked to offer "independent specialist advice" to the regulator, as well as potentially act as expert witnesses on its determinations panel, should the requirement arise.

Several local government pension schemes have recently embarked on similar joint tenders at a time when the UK public sector is facing cutbacks under the government's deficit reduction plan.

The contract award announcement included:: "One of TPR's roles is to investigate cases where there may be serious governance, or investment or funding issues, associated with occupational pension schemes (DB and DC)."

Other companies in the agreemnet include Punter Southall, PKF, Bluefin Corporate Consulting, KPMG and Grant Thornton, Zolfo Cooper, Pension Capital Strategies and Hymans Robertson, as well as Redington, BDO, Buck Consultants, Begbies Traynor and Deloitte, Ernst & Young and Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery

Chief Editor: Matthew Fredricks