UK - Pension schemes should be certified fit for auto-enrolment, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has suggested in a consultation on the implementation of incoming legislation.

In its consultation paper, the department proposed that employers wishing to test their schemes as adequate for auto-enrolment would be given the opportunity by applying one of three potential methods.

The proposed test would only apply to schemes where agreements with the pension provider do not explicitly state pension contributions will amount to at least 8% of qualifying earnings - with at least 3 percentage points of the contribution made by the employer.

The DWP suggested individual schemes should be certified by the time an employer's staging date has been reached, with a number of larger employers expected to enroll as early as October next year.

The proposals outline that, for certification, a scheme should receive at least either a 9% contribution of an employee's pensionable earnings, with 4 percentage points coming from the employer, or a 7% contribution of an employee's total earnings, which included a 3 percentage point employer contribution.

Under the latter model, 100% of an employee's wages must be pensionable.

The final suggestion included that an 8% contribution of pensionable earnings must include at least 3 percentage points from an employer, as long as total pensionable earnings of the entire auto-enrolment workforce amounted to 85% of total earnings.

The department noted: "By 'pensionable earnings' we mean whichever is the higher of the employer's definition of pensionable earnings or basic pay, from pound one.

"Basic pay would be the elements of pay that do not vary and therefore excludes variable elements of pay such as commission, bonuses and overtime."

Interested parties have until mid-October to submit responses to the DWP's consultation.

Meanwhile, trustees of Pirelli's pension fund have appointed Cardano as fiduciary manager for a £600m (€683m) mandate.

Flavio Cateni, one of the fund's trustees, said Cardano's focus on improving the funding ratio and reducing volatility aligned well with trustee objectives.

He also was impressed by "the strength and depth" of the Cardano team.

Pirelli is an Italian tyre manufacturer and the sole supplier for Formula One race cars.

Finally, Pitmans Trustees (PTL) launched a specialist charity unit to serve charity pension schemes.

Client director Melanie Cusack will lead the new unit. She said charity pension schemes often had unmet needs and that PTL had the experience to manage those needs at low cost.

Managing director Richard Butcher characterised PTL's practices as a "pragmatic, unfussy approach" that would suit charities well.