UK - Westminster City Council is seeking providers to take on the administration and accounting services for its £642m (€797m) local government pension scheme.

The council, which oversees the pension fund on behalf of the 14 participating bodies, currently employs the London Pension Funds Authority (LPFA) to administer the scheme's benefits and to send out statements.

However, the City of Westminster has confirmed it is looking to commission a "specialist organisation" to take responsibility for administering the pension fund; providing advice to scheme members and managing the active, deferred and pensioners of the fund through the pension payroll.

In addition, the council is seeking to appoint a "specialist organisation" to take responsibility for providing pension accounting services, including monthly posting and reconciliation of pension fund accounts and the management of the annual audit.

Both mandates are for an initial period of four years, with the option of a further two-year extension, and the value of the contracts is estimated at £1.46m for the administration role and £100,000 for the accounting services.

Westminster pension fund currently employs five external managers, with Majedie Asset Management and State Street Global Advisors managing two UK equity mandates, while Alliance Bernstein and Newton Investment Management run the global equity portfolios and Insight Investment Management is responsible for managing the bonds mandate.

Figures from the annual accounts for 2007/08 revealed the asset allocation was 34% in UK equities, 24% in bonds and 42% in global equities, although over the period from 31 March 2007 to 31 March 2008 the value of the fund fell from £664m to £642m, as the overall negative return on investments was -2.4%.

The closing date for applications for one or both of the positions is 5 December 2008, and further details can be obtained the strategic procurement department at Westminster Council.

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