HUNGARY - Hewitt Associates is strengthening its office in Budapest with two new businesses, namely a European pensions actuarial services team and a pensions and benefit finance consulting unit.

The actuarial service team will provide core pensions and actuarial expertise for Hewitt's pension clients across Europe, the company said.

With the second team Hewitt will, for the first time, be offering pension and health benefit consulting services to companies from its Budapest office, such as calculation of benefit obligations. Its HR consultancy business in Hungary has been up and running since 1997.

"Budapest fits perfectly into Hewitt's global Retirement strategy," Nick Flint, strategy and change manager for Hewitt, said. "With this Central European operation, we are extending our capabilities to support our growing portfolio of Europe-based clients, and offering a highly skilled and multi-lingual workforce which will become the backbone of Hewitt's Pensions Actuarial Consulting business in Europe.

"It is an excellent time to start employee benefit consulting in Hungary which has been a pioneer in pension reforms, and is now focussing on healthcare," Tibor Parniczky, practice leader of Pensions and Benefit Finance Consulting in Hungary, commented.

"Employers are the major contributors to pension, healthcare and employee benefit funds and the recent and forthcoming changes in regulation underline the need to find the best solutions for employee benefit financing."