UK - The London Borough of Barnet is tendering a contract for the provision of actuarial services to its local government pension scheme (LGPS).

Hymans Robertson currently provides actuarial services to the £546.3m (€686m) fund and conducted its 2007 actuarial valuation, which revealed a funding level of 71% and a deficit of £218.2m.

Barnet said it is seeking to appoint a company that has a number of years' experience in advising local government and institutional pension funds.

The successful applicant will be expected to provide services and advice to the pension fund committee on a variety of areas, including triennial valuations of the pension fund and self-insurance fund, and calculations in relation to FRS17 requirements as well as advice on employer contribution rates.

The contract, which is valued at between £90,000 and £210,000, will be awarded to the most economically advantageous submission in terms of experience, capability, quality, capacity and price.

Latest figures for the pension fund showed that a fall in global equity markets, and a rise in bond prices in the first quarter of 2008, reduced the value of the fund from £581.6m at 31 December 2007 to £546.3m at 31 March 2008.

The fund's investments, which include 32% in UK equities and 33% in overseas equities, returned -6.4% in the first quarter of 2008, just outperforming the benchmark return of -6.5%.

Earlier this year, Barnet revealed it was searching for a new investment adviser to provide advice on issues including asset allocation, investment strategy and manager selection. [See earlier article: Lighthouse authority seeks actuarial help for new scheme]
The deadline for applications for the actuarial services contract is 20 August 2008.

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