IRELAND - Mercer is to bring a range of one-stop-shop retirement solutions to companies in the Irish market under the banner of Mercer Retirement Solutions (MRS).
MRS will form part of the existing consulting and advisory services, which it provides to multi-national, indigenous and public sector employers operating defined contribution schemes.
For small, defined benefit funds in Ireland looking at bundled solutions, Mercer 360 will continue to run as before, confirmed Tom Geraghty, senior investment consultant, Mercer Investment Consulting in Dublin.
Currently, MM Asset Management acts as the investment manager for Mercer 360 clients, but as Mercer prepares to roll out its own investment management company, Mercer Global Investments, MMAM's position is unclear.
Geraghty suggested a possible outcome may be a shift to open architecture in Mercer 360, where MGI and MMAM could potentially offer investment management. No such decision has yet been taken.
John Feely, former chairman of the Irish Association of Pension Funds has joined Mercer to lead the new development in Ireland.
As its first offering to the market Mercer Retirement Solutions will deliver a defined contribution (DC) plan that aims to fully integrate all the services clients need to provide retirement benefits to employees.
This will include plan management, asset management, administration and member support services, under the banner of a single master trust arrangement.
Mercer will also offer members online access to their pension information and a range of financial planning and investment education facilities including seminars and a Mercer member support centre.
Commenting on the new development, Mercer’s chief executive in Ireland, Paul O’Faherty said: Today’s launch is a significant development for Mercer’s business in Ireland.
“Our creation of these new product solutions is driven both by client demand and by an internal recognition that as market leaders in the provision of pension-related services, Mercer is best placed to deliver high calibre, cost effective solutions to clients.”
But client reception to Mercer 360 over the last couple of year since launch has been luke warm. As of January this year, Mercer 360 had three pension fund clients with a combined e70m in assets.
Jonathan Stapleton asks whether newly-accredited professional trustees should be a statutory fixture on pension scheme boards.
Savers are being warned by the Insolvency Service to guard their pension pots from investment scammers and negligent trustees as it winds up 24 companies.
Respondents say they should only be required in certain situations as the system is not broken.