UK - WS Atkins has revealed its defined benefit (DB) pension deficit has reduced to £213.1m (€269m) as a result of more than £37m in additional contributions during 2007.

In its results for the year to March 31 2008, the design and engineering consultancy said the Atkins Pension Plan had an actuarial deficit of £215m at April 1 2007.

However, figures in the accounts show the firm reported an increase in total DB assets from £808.1m to £808.8m, while the total deficit of all of its DB schemes fell from £250.1m at the end of March 2007 to £213.1m at March 31 2008.

Following on from the actuarial valuation, WS Atkins confirmed it had made £37.5m in "accelerated contributions" in 2007 with a further £12.5m paid into the Atkins Pension Plan on April 1 2008.

In addition, it confirmed it had agreed a deal with scheme trustees that will see the firm contribute an additional £32m a year into the DB scheme for the next six years.

The Atkins Pension Plan closed to future accruals for members without a statutory or contractual right to a final salary scheme on September 30 2007, which resulted in the transfer of 1,622 members from the DB to the defined contribution (DC) plan.

Meanwhile, MAN AG has appointed Mercer to provide the actuarial and investment consultancy services for the £200m UK section of its DB scheme, following the merger of four UK schemes post-acquisition of ERF.

Mercer has also been awarded the contract to provide corporate pension services for Crown Holdings' £1.7bn DB scheme, which includes responsibility for more than 23,000 members.

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