Including: UK - Hammersmith tenders for new consultant; SWITZERLAND - Cantons reject full coverage for public funds; US - Funds sue UBS over fraud claims
The £430m London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Pension Fund has tendered for a new investment consultant.
The fund's investment consultancy is currently P-Solve. The funds said the existing contract was due to expire and so was tendering as part of the usual procurement process.
US - Funds sue UBS over fraud claims
Pension funds, including the US Teamsters Union fund, Denmark's ATP and the Tyneside pension fund have joined a class action case against investment bank UBS alleging fraud.
The complaint - filed in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York this week - alleges UBS and subsidiaries tried to conceal "massive exposure to and losses in subprime mortgage-backed securities", overstated the value of auction rate securities and assisted "wealthy US taxpayers in evading US income taxes".
The plaintiffs allege these actions had the effect of artificially inflating UBS's share price on US and foreign markets with the resultant effect of causing the stock price to "plunge" after writing down more than $38bn in mortgage backed securities and nearly $1bn in overvalued ARS, leading to substantial losses for investors.
UBS has moved to dismiss the case.
SWITZERLAND - Cantons reject full coverage for public funds
Swiss cantons have rejected calls for public pension schemes to be fully funded, citing the economic crisis as the main reason against the move.
Swiss news site, www.romandie.com, said that the federal council called for all 26 of the country's cantons to fully fund their public pension obligations within 40 years, but has met opposition from individual states.
It added that, before the crisis, Swiss public funds were estimated to be under funded by approximately CHF16bn (US$13.7bn). This coverage level is believed to have declined further since then.
Concerns over the autonomy of cantons were also cited as a reason to reject the proposal, with the majority of Germanic in favour of full funding and Romansh cantons opposed.
A buyout tool which provides schemes with up-to-date pricing and comparisons between insurers has been launched by JLT Employee Benefits.
The DB white paper sets out plans to review the funding regime, with 'prudent' and 'appropriate' possibly redefined. But James Phillips asks if this could this signal a return to an MFR-like approach?
The trustees of GKN's pension schemes have agreed a package of mitigation measures that would improve funding to a "more prudent level" if Melrose's offer is accepted by shareholders next week.
While the new powers are welcome, most respondents doubt it will make a difference to the outcomes for members, Pensions Buzz respondents say.