UK - Capita Hartshead and Watson Wyatt have been appointed by the Next Group Pension Plan.

Capita has been appointed to administer the defined contribution section of the clothing retailer’s plan, with the contract due to start in January 2005.

Watson Wyatt has been appointed to provide actuarial and consultancy services, including the scheme actuary role, to the 216 million-pound scheme. The firm replaces Mercer Human Resource Consulting and will start working for the pension plan on October 1.

It has been appointed after the board of trustees undertook a review, during which “Watson Wyatt came on top”, a pension official told IPE. This is the first change of actuaries for the scheme since it was set up more than 50 years ago.

The management of whole portfolio remains with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

"We are thrilled with this appointment,” said Watson Wyatt partner Rashpal Bhabra said. “Next's choice of Watson Wyatt further reinforces our position as the leading provider of actuarial and consulting services to FTSE 100 companies."

Next added: "We appointed Capita Hartshead because we want to expand member choice and when it comes to funds Capita offered the best platform on which to launch those choices. We were also impressed by their style and approach to administration."