UK - Celestica's UK scheme has adopted an implemented consulting strategy, while the £1.2bn (€1.34bn) North Yorkshire pension fund is seeking investment advisers and consultants, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW) is in consultation to shut it defined benefit (DB) scheme to future accrual.

Celestica (UK) pension plan has appointed Mercer to implement a 'dynamic de-risking" solution for £100m of pension scheme assets.

Mercer said the trustees of the scheme were looking for an implemented service to provide fiduciary and de-risking support, and the dynamic de-risking strategy - an extension of implemented consulting - aims to enable trustees to gradually remove financial risk from the fund "through an agreed strategy".

Steve Southern, chair of the plan trustees, said: "We researched the various options on the market, and a key differentiator for Mercer was its disciplined approach to managing the plan's assets relative to the funding position. Its ability to provide a diversified growth portfolio, as well as daily funding-level monitoring and transaction services to bank gains from market fluctuations, is a dramatic improvement on our governance framework and should improve our funding position."

Meanwhile North Yorkshire County Council is re-tendering two investment advisory contracts, valued at a total of £800,000-950,000, for a period of four years but with the option of a further two-year extension.

The £1.2bn North Yorkshire pension fund currently employs PJ Williams from Allenbridge EPIC as its independent investment adviser, while Mercer acts as the investment consultant for the scheme.

The closing date for tender submissions is the 4 January 2010 and further information can be obtained from SCMS.

Elsewhere, the ICAEW has confirmed it is in consultation with members of its defined benefit scheme, valued at £99.8m at the end of 2008, to close the scheme to future accrual from next year.

ICAEW said it had reviewed its pension arrangements and concluded: "The fund has become too costly to sustain in its current form as it has been affected both by volatility in markets and more importantly by the increase in life expectancies."
The scheme, which reported a deficit of around £9m at the end of 2008, closed to new members in 2000 and was replaced it with a defined contribution scheme. The existing members of the DB scheme will be offered the opportunity to join this stakeholder pension scheme.

The consultation closes on 7 February 2010, after which the organisation will make its final decision, although it stressed that it is fully committed to funding the existing deficit and that the proposals will not affect those members currently receiving benefits or benefits that have been accrued by members up to 31 May 2010.

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