UK - Mercer Human Resource Consulting has launched a one-stop-shop service in the UK that combines pension scheme management, administration, asset management and member communications for a fixed fee.

The new offering - ‘Mercer Retirement Solutions’ - includes the Mercer Global Investments multi-manager service that already has $10bn under management in the US and Australia.

A single client manager and service team will be provided to handle each aspect of the scheme, the firm said. Mercer believes it will be the only provider in the UK to offer such a range of services for defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.

The launch is a response to “the growing interest in outsourcing pension scheme management as a non-core business activity” the company said.

It already has 13 clients signed up for the new outsourcing service, and anticipates this as the single largest growth area in UK pensions over the next five years.

"The government's White Paper does little to resolve the immediate issues that employers face - indeed, the long lead time for pensions reform gives greater urgency to deal with the current issues of cost control, risk management and administrative burdens on employers," said Simon O'Regan, Mercer's head of UK and Europe region.

"Today, the market is a plethora of open and closed schemes, with many employers running both types, and these will need to be managed for many years to come," he said.

"Once approved by the regulators in Ireland and the UK, MGI will provide our clients with an efficient pooled investment facility to help improve investment performance, reduce investment risk and save management time," said O'Regan. Mercer expects to have this service element fully operational within the next three months.