UK - The Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PADA) is expected to sign a contract with Tata Consulting Services (TCS) to provide administration for the planned National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).

PADA today announced TCS is the successful bidder, albeit there were no longer any other companies in contention, and the contract will run for a minimum of 10 years.

"This is excellent news," said Tim Jones, chief executive of PADA. "As we proceeded through our detailed procurement process TCS emerged as an extremely strong bidder, both in terms of their capabilities in pension administration and in their ability to provide value for money for NEST members. Signing the contract early, in stages, allows us to get on with the work to deliver NEST," he added.

The administration provider will supply services for at least 10 years and start work in October 2010, but the contract also carries a possible extension for a possible further five years.

The work is also divided into two stages - the first being the activity required to set up and administer BEST - and a decision will then be taken before the end of the first stage on whether TCS will hold the contract for the remainder of the term, according to a statement from PADA.

Four companies were initially shortlisted as preferred bidders for the contract: ATP, the Danish pension provider; Logica UK and Great-West Retirement Services Europe, alongside TCS. But ATP pulled out of early in talks in October, citing concerns about the risk/return potential from the new business and likely member participants. (See earlier IPE stories: ATP pulls out of bid to win personal accounts contract; And then there were two: Logica pulls its PADA bid and Tata becomes only candidate in UK personal accounts bid).

Employers will be required from 2012 to auto-enrol staff either into an existing company pension arrangement or into the NEST scheme, unless staff ask otherwise.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email