UK – Consulting actuaries Lane Clark & Peacock has launched a consulting service focused on the employer covenant for pensions.

It aims to aid trustees to formulate plans to recover any deficit, LCP said.

“The service recognises the additional responsibilities that trustees have in the new pension scheme funding environment and responds to The Pension Regulator's requirement for trustees of schemes in deficit to consider themselves as a material corporate creditor.”

The service helps trustees to understand their employer's corporate structure, financial position and creditworthiness.

Issues covered include factoring sponsor risk into funding and investment strategy decisions, planning for deficit recovery and understanding the balance between scheme requirements and what the employer can afford.

LCP has created its own credit team to provide this service and David Poynton has been recruited to head it up.

"We are delighted to welcome David to our team,” said Aaron Punwani, head of LCP’s trustee consulting.

“His strong credit analysis track record will add considerably to LCP's existing strengths in this field.”

Meanwhile, two draft codes of practice - reporting late payments of contributions to occupational money purchase schemes and reporting late payments of contributions to personal pensions - have been laid before Parliament.

“The legislation on late payments is expected to be effective from April 2006,” the Pension Regulator said.