UK - The University of Southampton has appointed Barnett Waddingham to provide consultancy services for its pension fund for non-academic staff.

Barnett Waddingham will provide pensions consultancy, investment consultancy and actuarial consultancy services to the university's Pension & Assurance Scheme for Non-Academic Staff (PASNAS), from June 18 2008.

The scheme, which had 1,677 members to July 31 2007, had its last actuarial valuation on August 1 2006 at which point the scheme had assets of £89.6m (€113.2m) but liabilities of £98.7m - resulting in a deficit of £9.1m.

Figures from the university's latest annual accounts for 2006/07 showed the market value of assets at July 31 2007 had increased to £98.6m, but the scheme's liabilities had also risen to £124m, increasing the deficit of the scheme to £25.4m.

Barnett Waddingham won the £243,000 contract over seven other applicants on the basis that it was most economically-advantageous in terms of price, experience and quality of the bid.

The university began its search in June 2007, and the original tender notice revealed it was seeking a contractor to provide a full actuarial service, to help trustees comply with legislation changes and best practice, and to monitor, advise and report on investment managers and investment strategies.

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