GLOBAL -  Mercer, the consultancy firm, has been appointed by car manufacturer Nissan Motors to be its global retirement consultant.

Nissan has a global governance structure to manage its pension plan exposure across the world, but Mercer is being brought in initially to support Nissan's Tokyo-based global governance team and then assist team elsewhere in managing its pension plans worldwide.

The deal is especially important as Nissan has a pension scheme in Japan worth over €1.6bn as well as a UK defined benefit scheme - the Nissan Motor Manufacturing Ltd UK Pension Plan - thought to be worth in the region of £700m (€760m) in assets and using Aon Consulting as its actuary, pensions administrator and investment consultant, according to Pension Funds Online.

Yet many Japanese schemes have yet to establish global governance systems as they often delegate responsibility for managing pension plans to local offices, according to Shintaro Kitano, senior actuary at Mercer Tokyo.

"While large multinational companies in Japan recognize the importance of having such a structure, it is not easy to set up an inventory of all pension and retirement plans around the world," said Kitano.

"Managing the risks is one factor, but successfully navigating the complexities of all the markets' different regulatory landscapes, languages, cultures and environments is challenging," he added.

Nissan is currently located in approximately 50 countries across the globe.

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