UK - The £3.7bn (€4.2bn) Merseyside Pension Fund has appointed Heywood to provide pension administration and payroll services.

Wirral Borough Council, which administers the local authority pension fund, initiated a search in September for a new administration provider to update its computer systems.

Officials said at the time its existing IT systems supporting the administration of the pension fund was more than seven years old, so it had tendered a five-year contract to find the "best value solution". (See earlier IPE article: Merseyside seeks admin provider to revamp systems)

Wirral Council has now confirmed it has appointed Heywood to the contract, valued at around £650,000, after receiving two offers for the provision of pension administration and the pensioner payroll system.

The contract was awarded on the basis of performance against a range of criteria, with the most weight given to technical capability and functionality, and capacity and capability, with both areas comprising 25%.

The council also examined the tender submissions with regards to maintenance, development and support, operating costs, both of which had a 20% weighting, with the remainder based on the implementation of the new system.

This is the latest appointment by Merseyside Pension Fund following a decision to split an active UK equity allocation between four managers, and the decision to tender for a transition manager panel and for two unconstrained bond managers to run a £320m portfolio. (See earlier IPE articles: Merseyside awards equity roles and moves fixed income; Merseyside tenders for transition manager panel and Merseyside reviews £320m unconstrained bonds)

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