UK - The Pension Protection Fund has appointed a further four actuarial firms in a major extension of its ‘assess and pay' project to speed up scheme entry into the lifeboat fund.
Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Barnett Waddingham, Spence & Partners and Xafinity Consulting will join Punter Southall to carry out Section 143 valuations of both underfunded and standard funds.
It follows on from the PPF assess & pay pilot project, which saw 50 schemes transfer into the PPF with the assistance of Punter Southall.
PPF head of operations Phillip Beecroft said: "Our members have told us they wanted certainty sooner, the trustees and their advisers told us that they wanted a more pragmatic approach during the assessment period and our levy payers wanted to see a more efficient programme to help reduce the cost of the levy.
"Our pilot project has demonstrated that by using a dedicated actuary, with specific knowledge and expertise to carry out underfunded s143 valuations, we can save time, reduce cost and improve the quality of s143s. That is why we have decided to roll this out to other schemes in assessment."
The PPF currently has more than 200,000 members and 336 schemes in assessment.
The firms on the actuarial panel will carry out valuations for around 40 schemes in the assessment period instead of the PPF scheme actuary.
The criteria for firms to be assessed by firms on the panel include having under 3,000 members, not being a "high profile or complex" case and projected to be under 90% funded at the assessment date.
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