UK - The Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) has appointed Hymans Robertson as its new investment adviser.

The defined benefit (DB) scheme, which is open to members of parliament and other government office-holders including ministers, said Hymans Robertson had a reputation for giving "firm recommendations and supporting trustees" in developing the scheme.

Hymans Robertson replaces Mercer as the scheme's investment adviser, and under the contract the firm will be required to provide a range of advisory services covering both strategic and structural issues, alongside investment manager monitoring and selection.

Latest figures from the 2006-07 annual report for the PCPF show the scheme had net assets of £379.1m (€470.8m), with a benchmark of 66% allocated to equities and 34% in bonds.

The scheme had originally decided in February 2003 to move from its existing allocation of 80% in equities to 60% by 2006, with 30% in bonds and 10% in property.

However, the report states after "further consideration" in 2006 trustees adopted the existing benchmark to "reflect the view" equities had outperformed bonds and to enable trustees to search for "other defensive assets such as property and hedge funds, as alternatives to bonds".

The report said the fund's investment position is continually under review with the help of its investment adviser - now Hymans Robertson - but the fund warned "any timetable to reduce the equity allocation from 66% to a long-term strategic level of 60% will depend on the relative valuation of equities versus bonds and the case for further diversification".

Sir John Butterfill MP, chairman of trustees for the PCPF, said: "During the tender process, they demonstrated a clear understanding of our individual needs and we believe their experience of advising a range of both private and public sector schemes will prove very helpful in advising us on our investments going forward."

Paul Potter, partner at Hymans Robertson, added: "The Parliamentary Contributory Fund has a number of unique characteristics and will require specialist knowledge and advice to accommodate the unique aspects of the fund."

The appointment of Hymans Robertson follows the recent decision by the PCPF to award the third party administration of the fund to RPMI, a subsidiary of the Railway Pensions Trustee Company. (See earlier story: RPMI appointed TPA for MPs DB scheme)

In addition, the trustee board experienced some changes in March as two managing trustees of the scheme - Terry Rooney MP and David Borrow MP - stood down after four years of service to be replaced by Jim Dowd MP and Don Touhig MP.

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