UK - The University of Edinburgh is re-tendering the administration, actuarial and investment services for its £155m (€181m) Staff Benefits Scheme (SBS).

As a university, the teaching staff at the university are members of the University Superannuation Scheme (USS), however the institution also operates a second contracted-out defined benefit (DB) scheme, operated on a salary sacrifice arrangement.

The University of Edinburgh revealed the re-tendering exercise is a "matter of good business practice" from the trustees of the scheme as they "regularly review all of its service providers in order that it continues to obtain value for money on behalf of the Scheme membership".

The scheme, which is open to new members, is therefore offering three contracts for administration of the fund, actuarial services and investment services, including an investment strategy and review.

A tender notice issued by the university revealed the successful actuarial provider will be expected to complete the triennial actuarial valuations, the latest one set for 31 March 2009, alongside certifying contribution rates and the funding level of the scheme.

Figures included in the tender notice revealed the value of the pension scheme was £155m at the end of March 2009, considerably lower than the £187.5m reported in July 2008 at which point the scheme had confirmed a deficit of £79.5m following a fall in asset values, increased inflation and higher longevity assumptions.

Meanwhile, the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) highlighting its plans to search for banking and custodial services for the West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF).

The £4.5bn pension fund currently employs HSBC for banking services, but the contract on offer will include the provision of a domestic banking service for cash and investment accounts, receipt of payments, fund transfers and payment of pensions through electronic means and cheques in addition to an international banking facility for the scheme's overseas investments.

The contract is expected to run from October 2009 for an initial six-month transition period before continuing for a further five years from April 2010, and the re-tendering process follows the recent appointment of Hewitt as the scheme's actuary. (See earlier IPE article: Hewitt to work with W.Yorks pension fund)

Further details of the West Yorkshire will be released in a full tender notice shortly, while applicants for the University of Edinburgh contracts should submit tenders by 27 July 2009, with further information available from the University's procurement department.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email