The London-based Pension Protection Fund is searching for four firms to advise some defined benefit funds of insolvent companies in the U.K. on securing benefits for their plan participants.
A spokeswoman for the £36 billion ($48.8 billion) PPF said the panel of advisers will be created for the first time. The panel will consist of a transaction adviser, an actuary and investment support firms.
The selected firms will assist the so-called PPF+ funds, which are pension funds that entered the PPF assessment — but not the PPF itself — and are overfunded. Due to their status, these funds have sufficient assets to buy out benefits for their participants over and above the amount paid in the PPF.
Pension funds of insolvent companies in the U.K. enter the PPF for assessment following insolvency of their plan sponsors but not all enter the PPF itself. The PPF is a lifeboat fund for defined benefit plans of insolvent companies in the U.K. that could not secure the benefits.
The PPF+ advisory panel will help to determine the most suitable type of transaction that will secure the benefits for each of the plans that haven't entered the PPF and will consider all available options, a second PPF spokeswoman said.
"As we continue to see more PPF+ schemes enter our assessment period, we hope this specialist panel will provide consistency and efficiency to the process," Dan Collins, relationships manager at PPF, said in a news release Wednesday. "Our aim is for these schemes to exit the PPF assessment period as seamlessly as possible and ensure they secure the best possible outcome for members outside the PPF."
In February 2022, the selected firms will be awarded initial two-year contracts with two optional one-year extensions.
Applications are due by 5 p.m. GMT on Oct. 29 via a procurement portal. Registration is required.