NORWAY - The Norwegian municipality of Baerum is seeking consultancy services to help in the establishment of a pension fund.

Bærum municipality, which has Sandvika as its capital, is offering an 18-month consultancy contract, with the option of a further 30-month extension, to help establish a "tailor-made and efficient" pension fund.

The tender notice revealed the contract would require the successful applicant to consult with management on pension questions about the establishment of the scheme, although the tender documents showed the consultant would also be expected to examine existing suppliers of services relating to member's data, member's rights and the early payment of pensions.

The accompanying documents claimed the municipality faces a large economic challenge between 2008-11, but as the area's largest pension scheme consists of 70% municipal employees Baerum wants to design its own mutual pension fund on behalf of the director of Baerum, Gunvor Erdal, and all sectors of the municipality including underlying institutions, organisations, trusts and enterprises.

In the tender documents, Baerum revealed the contract should not exceed NOK 1m (€126,094) over the contract period, and the successful applicant would be required to help deliver a pension fund to commence on January 1, 2010.

It added the consultancy should be prepared to provide tailored and efficient suggestions and solutions, which comply with political constraints, thought it admitted some restructuring may be needed in the municipality and, as such, the applicant may also undertake new activities in the municipality or with other co-operating local authorities.

The tender notice showed Baerum expects to invite between three and four consultants to tender for the contract by August 6 2008, although all initial applications - in Norwegian - should be submitted by July 2, 2008.

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