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TPR seeks expert advice to help investigations

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  • TPR seeks expert advice to help investigations

UK - The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is offering six contracts for expert services including actuarial and risk management advice, to aid in its investigations of serious governance, investment or funding issues. 

Under the two-year framework agreement - which can also be used by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) - TPR has separated its requirements into six lots. Although potential suppliers are allowed to bid for one or more of the following contracts:

Covenant assessment and independent review services for large employers - annual turnover of more than £250m (€284.3m) Covenant assessment and independent review services for small employers - annual turnover of £250m or less Actuarial services for large schemes - liabilities of more than £500m Actuarial services for small schemes - liabilities of less than £500m Investment and risk management for large schemes  Investment and risk management for small schemes

However while TPR suggests the maximum number of participants to the framework agreement is 40, it admitted the actual number and value of the contracts "is almost impossible to predict since the need for services depends on external events that are beyond TPR's control".

The agreement - which is expected to cost between £500,000 and £10m for two years and up to £20m over four years - aims to provide TPR with independent specialist advice when it investigates "serious governance, or investment or funding issues associated with occupational schemes".

In particular the suppliers would be used to "inform its position and/or to provide expert witness evidence to the Determinations Panel", which is the part of TPR that exercises its formal powers such as contribution notices.

The covenant assessment providers would be required to advise on scheme funding issues, such as employer covenants and deficit contributions, while the actuarial services relate to setting appropriate technical provisions and recovery plans in cases where TPR has to impose a plan on a scheme for whatever reason.

Meanwhile the risk management and investment services would be project specific, although it is expected to include advice on the suitability of investment strategies and the impact on scheme funding and employer covenant.

A spokesperson for TPR confirmed the tender is a new procurement exercise, and "that whilst not excluding any support required by the new Employer Compliance Regime (ECR), these services are not being specially procured as part of that project".

The closing date for submissions is 28 September 2009, and further details can be obtained from the procurement department at TPR.

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 nyree.stewart@ipe.com

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