UK - Capita Hartshead won a £250,000 (€371,000) contract by the Northern Ireland Water Service for the administration of a new pension scheme to be set up for next year.

From April 2007 Water Service will become Northern Ireland Water Ltd (NIWL), which will be government-owned.

Currently, employees are eligible for membership in the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (Northern Ireland), an unfunded define benefits scheme, as the Water Service is an agency of the Department for Regional Development.

"Employees of NIWL will not be eligible for membership of PCPS (NI), thus under the government ‘fair deal for staff pensions' arrangement a broadly comparable pension scheme will be provided in the new NIWL," Celine Rodgers, spokeswoman for the Water Service, told IPE.

Employees changing over to NIWL "can join the NIWL scheme or make alternative arrangements".

The new scheme will be a funded DB scheme. At April 2007 NIWL will have around 1,900 employees, roughly the same number it has now.