UK - The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has appointed Punter Southall as an external caseworker to help and support trustees of pension schemes entering the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS).

The PPF tendered for trustee relationship managers in November 2008 to act in a similar capacity as a PPF caseworker to assist in the management and arrangements of schemes applying to the FAS for assistance. (See earlier IPE article: PPF seeks trustee managers for FAS role)

Punter Southall has now been appointed to the role of providing assistance and support to the trustees of around 170 annuitised schemes that have qualified for FAS, following a competitive tender process.

Punter Southall said this is the first time the PPF has outsourced a service that is normally managed internally, and confirmed it will begin work immediately with a team led by Alan Wilkes, a principal at the firm.

The need for an external provider followed new legislation in July last year, which transferred certain responsibilities relating to the FAS - the compensation fund that preceded the PPF for schemes winding up before 6 April 2005 - to the Board of the PPF.

Peter Walker, director of delivery at the PPF, claimed Punter Southall's "knowledge and experience in working with trustees will provide the support we need to make sure that FAS scheme trustees get the best possible support from the PPF during what is a time-consuming and complex process".

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email