Mercer re-launches DB scheme discontinuance service

Mercer has re-launched its scheme discontinuance service to help trustees with wind-up and buy-out plans for their defined benefit (DB) schemes.

The service will support trustees in meeting the Pensions Regulator’s two-year timeline for completing wind-ups and in complying with its record-keeping guidelines.

The modular-based service will enable trustees to either fully outsource their discontinuance service or partner with an expert for specialist aspects, which can be managed alongside the day-to-day activities of the existing administration team.

Specialist services may range from project management, benefits reviews, member communications, individual data cleansing, liability discharge, and reconciliation and accounting exercises.

Neil Bolding, head of scheme discontinuance services at Mercer, said: “When schemes trigger a wind-up, most trustees are limited in moving the full administration to a specialist due to the Pensions Regulator’s two-year time limit.

“Our new approach will help trustees manage the process by retaining their current administrator for day-to-day aspects while having the flexibility to seek outside expertise for specialist tasks.

“This new flexible service will ensure that wind-ups can be completed both compliantly and on time, well ahead of the previous industry average which was in excess of five years.

“Many schemes now have their eye on an exit strategy for their defined benefit schemes, and trustees are coming under increasing pressure to deliver against this, including the data management aspects of any wind-up. 

“Modular-based discontinuance services can help trustees plan ahead and work towards the end-game in a more phased approach.”

Read more articles on discontinuance services for defined benefit schemes