Lord Hutton named chair of civil servants mutual MyCSP
UK - Lord John Hutton has been named chair of MyCSP, the mutual formed from the previously state-owned administration provider for all civil service benefits in the UK.
The Cabinet Office announced last year that the company would be transformed into a mutual, with today's launch also announcing Equiniti Group's Paymaster as the private sector provider taking on a 40% share in the business.
Equiniti's managing director Paul Bingham acknowledged that the decision to pitch for the partnership was not an easy one, particularly as his company would not own a controlling share - with the remaining 60% of the company split between the government and MyCSP employees.
"There is also a risk that we could be shooting ourselves in the foot by creating a new competitor in the pensions marketplace," he said, adding that the mutual model was a "trailblazing" idea.
Lord Hutton, former chair of the Independent Public Servants Pensions Commission, said the mutualisation was an "important enhancement" of public services.
"With the launch of MyCSP, we have the opportunity to begin the development of a new approach to delivering services, which can bring together the very best of the private and the public sector," he said.
Hutton, a former secretary of state for Work and Pensions, added that the mutual model would allow for the merger of the public sector ethos with a private sector dynamism.
MyCSP - which has landed a seven-year contract for administration services of the Civil Service Pension Scheme (CSPS) - has been launched at a time of change for the unfunded pension fund, which provides benefits for more than 1.5m employees.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, who oversaw the launch of the mutual from his department, added: "As a mutual, MyCSP will deliver better services for its pension scheme members, millions of pounds of savings for the taxpayer and a real sense of ownership for employees over what they do."
He highlighted plans for annual savings of 50% over current administration costs by 2022.
But he also questioned how realistic this was in the current climate of redundancies within the civil service, as well as changes to the CSPS.
"The businesses are committed to doing it," he said. "Equiniti Paymaster will be putting capital into it to improve the [IT] systems significantly.
"This is kind of a watershed moment. We have stopped the taxpayer funding of the business."
A London Pensions Fund Authority report had previously suggested an approach similar to MyCSP's shared administration services should be mirrored across the Local Government Pension Scheme.
Hutton said MyCSP "really wanted to take on business" from other public sector schemes and hoped the mutual would establish itself as a leader, as he saw opportunities arising from both local government schemes and unfunded government schemes in future.