EUROPE - The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) is tendering for a pension provider, offering its employees the ability to top up contributions.

The two-year contract for a group personal pension (GPP) defined contribution scheme should be low cost and offer good value for money, the tender stressed.

"NEST Corporation will use the NEST scheme as a foundation pension scheme," the tender explained. "This top-up arrangement will be based on contributions from both employer and employee, where applicable, that are above the annual contribution limit."

The tender is necessary, as employees of the scheme - part of the 2012 auto-enrolment reforms - will only be able to pay a maximum of £4,200 per annum into NEST itself.

The cap was proposed to "ensure that NEST remains focused on its target market", according to a paper on the implementation of auto-enrolment reforms published by the Department for Work & Pensions last year.

At the time, the DWP recommended the removal of the limit by 2017 and said that legislation to achieve this was being planned, as it was concerned a cap would "send the wrong message" about what constituted a reasonable level of pension saving.

Interested parties have until 8 August to answer a pre-qualification questionnaire at NEST's dedicated tender ePortal.

Meanwhile, a Swiss institutional investor has tendered a mandate for a $100m (€70m) insurance-linked securities portfolio, using IPE Quest.

In search QN1202, the investor says it is seeking exposure primarily to catastrophe bonds, as well as reinsurance, industry loss warrants and retrocessions.

The expected performance is 5% above LIBOR, with no specified tracking error.

The mandate calls for a conservative, long-only approach and prohibits leverage.

The portfolio should maintain a fairly liquid profile, from monthly to quarterly.

Additionally, managers should have minimum $300m of assets under management invested in similar strategies, and a track record of more than three years.

Although the currency is in US dollars, experience with Swiss institutional funds would be advantageous.

Interested parties should reply to the request for information on IPE Quest by 15 August, conforming to the given structure of the attached Excel file. Performance should be stated to the end of June.

The news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information direct from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 7261 4630 or email