UK – The roughly £1.9bn (€2.7bn) Avon pension fund administered by the Bath and North East Somerset Council is tendering for a pensions consultant.

Mercer HRC is the scheme’s current consultant. It will be allowed to re-apply.

“This is a re-tender,” an official at the Avon scheme told IPE. She added: “I can see no reason why they Mercer can’t re-apply.”

The consultant will be required to provide triennial valuations, interim valuations and associated advice; FRS17 calculations; advice on regulatory issues and attend meetings with officers and employers bodies, said the contract notice.

According to the Bath and North East Somerset Council, it will have the option to extend the public contract for up to two years, and there is a possibility for one renewal.

Between five and eight parties will be short-listed, said the contract notice. The selection of these candidates will be based on economic and financial capacity, and technical ability.

According to the council, the contract will be awarded to “the most economically advantageous tender”.

The closing date is July 31, and invitations to tender will be dispatched to selected candidates on September 1.

The Avon scheme has more than 60 employing bodies and 67,000 members.

Last week, Unilever’s roughly £4.3bn UK pension scheme axed Russell Investment Group as investment consultant in favour of Mercer.

The move followed the consumer group’s decision to appoint Mercer as adviser on its cross-border pooled funds. According to the scheme’s chief investment officer, “it made sense” to appoint Mercer to advise the UK scheme as well.