UK - Watson Wyatt has boosted its defined contribution consulting effort in the UK with the launch of a framework called Investment Gateway.

It said it was developed as an extension of its research into investment managers and DC providers such as life insurers.

Watson Wyatt will advise DC trustees on the best option and earn consulting fees in the usual way, said senior consultant Paul Deane-Williams. He said the move was prompted by client demand. "The idea is to try to move the marketplace forwards," he added.

The move will give DC schemes "access to a broader range of investment funds and managers through a number of platform providers". It would not be tied to any single provider or platform.

"The investment options currently available to trustees of occupational DC pension funds are both inadequate and inefficient," said Nick Watts, the firm's European head of investment consulting.

"As a result these trustees are severely constrained and frustrated when setting investment strategy, particularly as many of them are experienced defined benefit trustees who are used to the sophistication and versatility of the DB investment market."

The firm said DC schemes are constrained in investment choice in a way that DB schemes are not - and that managers also do not have appropriate DC products.