UK – Restaurant and hotel operator Whitbread has outsourced its previously in-house defined benefit pensions administration – resulting in 10 staff leaving (Updates with Whitbread comment).

Mercer Human Resource Consulting said it has been appointed to the role. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Whitbread said it looked at outsourcing the administration of its final pension salary schemes in June 2004 and supported the trustees to review the market.

“The in-house pensions team were informed of this move in June 2004 and have been closely involved in the process for the past 12 months,” the company said. “The team of 10 individuals were offered the opportunity to transfer to Mercer as part of the agreement, however they have decided to pursue alternative opportunities.” They will leave by December 2005.

Whitbread’s pensions director Geoff Mellor said: “We took the decision to outsource the administration services for the defined benefit pensions arragements to ensure a consistent quality of service is maintained."

“This appointment demonstrates a continuing trend in the outsourcing of defined benefit pensions administration to hird-party providers,” said Mercer’s European partner Mark Lilly.

Mercer added it has taken on the administration of more than 20 in-house schemes in the last two years.

Whitbread’s DB schemes have an overall membership of around 46,000. The funds total £1bn (€1.45bn).