International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers Central Pension Fund, Washington, plans to search for a new actuarial consultant. The $6.5 billion pension plan today rejected incumbent Watson Wyatts demand that its legal liability be limited to a maximum of $200,000. Watson Wyatt also had asked the plan to indemnify it for amounts beyond that in case of lawsuits filed by participants or other outsiders. Plan trustees will ask the Labor Departments pension office to clarify the issue, said Michael R. Fanning, chief executive of the fund.
Watson Wyatt will remain with the plan on a month-by-month basis, he said.
The fund also intends to examine the possibility of hiring an in-house actuary, Mr. Fanning said.
In an interview yesterday, Eric P. Lofgren, global director of the benefits consulting group, confirmed Watson Wyatt recently has begun asking all clients to sign formal "letters of engagement.
"We frankly think what we are proposing is pretty mainstream, he said, adding that while several plans balked at accepting the provisions, only one had expressed concerns about being unable to accept them because of a possible violation of the trustees fiduciary duties.