UK government actuary ousted at Civil Service scheme

UK – The Government Actuaries Department has been replaced as scheme actuary to the Civil Service pension scheme by Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow.

The loss represents a blow for the GAD, which operates as both a government department and a commercial consulting firm and sees the Civil Service scheme as one of its main clients. A spokeswoman for the department declined to comment.

“The contract with GAD expired on March 31 this year,” said Cabinet Office spokeswoman Angela Merron. The Office, which oversees the Civil Service schemes, went through a rigorous evaluation process, taking into account fees, delivery, past record and quality, she said. She declined to comment on the size of the contract and was unable to say which other firms tendered.

“HBW emerged as a clear leader,” Merron said. GAD will be retained to provide advice to the civil service pension scheme and on public sector pension matters where appropriate, she added.

The scheme, one of the UK’s largest, makes payments of around three billion pounds (4.3 billion euros) a year to 550,00 individuals.

Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow, part of US-based Hewitt Associates, said the appointment covers both the defined benefit and defined contribution arrangements and some smaller associated schemes. HBW spokesman Colin Mayes declined to comment the size of the contract.

Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow already provided advice on additional voluntary contributions to the Cabinet Office. The office’s role is to support the government’s operations and reform.

Richard Moore, managing director of Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow said: "The sheer scale of the scheme presents a challenge and it is a tribute to our strength of understanding of the public sector that the Cabinet Office has selected us to take on this major role.”

Julia Wood, head of policy at the Civil Service Pensions Division, said of HBW: “Their capabilities, combined with an innovative approach to modelling and automation of processes, gave us confidence that together we can deliver a successful service to both the employers and the members of the Scheme.”

In October 2002 the Civil Service scheme outsourced the payment of members’ pensions to Capita Hartshead.

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