UK - My Civil Service Pension (MyCSP), which administers pensions for the UK's civil servants, is to be transformed into a mutual, the government has said.

The announcement, made by cabinet office minister Francis Maude, comes as part of wider government proposals to mutualise a number of government holdings.

Following the abolition of the National Audit Office last year, it was instead decided to let the local government auditors become a mutual.

The new mutual will be partially owned by a private sector provider, alongside the 400 employees of MyCSP, although the cabinet office noted that offering pension scheme holders a share in the company was being considered.

Maude said there was too often a choice between the government either providing all services or opting to outsource all activity.

"These choices have historically been driven by a belief that services have to be controlled centrally - with a one size fits all approach that has left little room for innovation," he added.

The minister said partnerships with the private or voluntary sector would allow for the influx of capital and expertise.

"For the private sector, which can no longer expect the generous margins of the past, tapping the talent of frontline staff to improve efficiency will be a priority," he added.

"The state too can keep a stake so that taxpayers benefit from the rising value of an improved service."

Phil Bartlett, chief executive of MyCSP, said he was proud to be the first pension administrator to be pioneering the mutual approach.

"This new and innovative structure will give us the agility to exploit opportunities in the changing pension landscape and grow our business, and the taxpayer will benefit from the increased value of an improved and more efficient service," he said.

In other news, the Royal London Group has reached a transfer agreement with Royal Liver Assurance to assume all of its liabilities, as well as take over its assets.

Royal London, the £42.2bn life and pension mutual, operates brands including Scottish Life and Royal London Asset Management.

The company said: "The transfer is subject to regulatory approvals and the approval of Royal Liver's Delegates (the elected representatives of Royal Liver's Members) at Royal Liver's Annual General Meeting, which will be held in early May 2011."

Finally, Greg Thorley and Richard Ayers, formerly of Standard Life, have launched their own consultancy.

Focusing on employee communication, Face to Face aims to work with a number of established industry names including Life Academy and Shilling Communication to assist in communicating about benefits and pensions efficiently.

Thorley said: "We passionately believe people from all walks of life appreciate and value the help needed to make informed choices about the important decisions in life.

"When it comes to employee benefits, our experience tells us that this applies to both employers and employees alike."