View more on these topics

One admin firm in running for personal accounts as GWRS pulls out

Great-West Retirement Services has withdrawn from the administrator bidding process for personal accounts leaving just one administrator in the bidding process.

Logica UK withdrew from the competitive dialogue process for the contract to administer personal accounts in November.

Logica was bidding as a consortium which included International Financial Data Services and DST Systems.

In October, Money Marketing revealed that Danish admin provider Arbejdsmarkedet Tillaegspension or ATP had withdrawn from the running for
the contract to administer the scheme.

The Personal Accounts Delivery Authority said the firm decided that providing services for the scheme did not “fit with its commercial model”.

Only Tata Consultancy Services remains. A winning bidder was expected to be selected by next summer.

Pada Chief Executive Tim Jones (pictured) says: “We wish to thank GWRS for their engagement with us. We enjoyed working with them and have benefited greatly from their input throughout the dialogue process.

“We will continue our detailed discussions with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS). They are an exceptionally strong bidder and we are making excellent progress but we need to conclude the procurement process appropriately and evaluate their proposals.

“Our priority is to get value for money for personal accounts scheme members and deliver them a solution that will meet our requirements – we are very confident we can do that.

“We will provide further updates on the next steps as soon as we can.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says: “The crucial test is whether the eventual contract ensures that members pay a competitive price in terms of pension charges and that the administration works efficiently. Provided these outcomes are achieved then the bidding process will have been a success.”


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 13 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So PADA believe they can have meaningful discussions with only one bidder in the frame who can call all the shots, who are they kidding. The sooner personal accounts are dropped and we go for compulsory enrolement into Stakeholder the better.

  2. Another half baked idea bites the dust like the potential RDR! Sounds good in practise – but in reality a nightmare to deliver & usually impractical as well!

    A lot is done for ‘brownie points’ (pardon the pun) and a political agenda of ‘me too’! But in real life it is not usually as simple to deliver

  3. So all but one of the original bidding firms have realised Personal Accounts aren’t viable. Shouldn’t that be telling the government something?

    For pity’s sake why not stop trying to reinvent the wheel, and just increase the basic state pension with a proportionate increase in tax or NI. That way it gives a guaranteed benefit, no possibility to opt out and no means-tested top-ups needed.

  4. 1 bidder left with 3 1/2 years to run until go live, a new gov’t in the offing and unpredictable events between now and then

    i am not sure mr jones will receive a thank you don’t mind a knighthood

  5. The personal account is doomed in much the same way as stakeholder except the life industry didnt do its maths first time round and were concerned of the threat of bringing in 401K administrators from over the pond if they didnt play ball..When will it be realised the importance of engagement with a reluctant and (largely)underpensioned workforce. All this government knows is the price of everything and the value of nothing. The sea change required in financial behaviour to a self sufficiency attitude is at odds with the nanny state we live in. Let,s hope that the prospect of an early snap election as reported in the Sunday Times this weekend materialises. That way we all have possibly something to look forward to in 2010.

  6. Duncan

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the engagement point. That why “Beat the Pensions Crisis” has been set up. Its sole aim is to encourage individuals to take responsibility for their retirement planning. It is also very pro-advice you’ll be pleased to hear!

    Richard Farr

  7. A previous commentator is absolutely right. Our stinking government wastes money like its going out of fashion, rewarding the idle and feckless, yet failing to provide a reasonable State pension for those that work (and contribute) all their lives. Why can other European countries find the cash to deliver decent pensions for the elderly whilst most of our pensioners starve or freeze until they need hospital care when they die of mal-treatment of a hospital acquired ‘bug’ ?

    This is the question everyone should be asking – whether you are 20, 30, 40 or 60……because every year that passes is a year closer to the time when you’ll realise how badly this country has been run for the past 50 years.

  8. “did not fit with its commercial model” ~ a euphemism for “there’s no b***dy money in it, so go find some other sucker”.

    Personal Accounts are complete a non-starter and will collapse in a pile of rubble before they even get off the ground.

    What is needed is TRUE pension simpification so that people will be attracted to Personal Pensions instead of having to be coerced into them. Anything else is just a blind alley that will achieve nothing but wasting everybody’s time and money like so many other misbegotten government initiatives based on the erroneous premise that the private sector overcharges for everything. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink, particularly if the water’s poisoned.

  9. THe entire issue of pensions or better descibed as financing , post working life, has got t o be totally rethought by the new Govenment after these present clowns have gone. Many years ago I predicted the total failure of Stakeholder, in articles I wrote and on TV. I also state that the Kiwi saver system from New Zealand fitted best with our futuire needs. What we have to have is a State minimum pension which is guaranteed for all at a little above subsistence level. After that people will have to rely on savings and may be equity release on their house. All pensions in their present form will have to go and the scewed tax relief for a few, plus of course the fortunate few in public sector pensions,( funded by their unpensioned contributors) in the private sector.
    Gordon has wiped out pensions with his 1997 pension fund tax and the fact that there has been no UK stock market growth in 12 wasted years. The loss of all of our UK companies sold to foreigners to milk the assets and then close them, has made it all worse. Pensions will have to be limited to an adequate state pension. Those who can afford to save( ever decreasing) can use ISAs, however the system has been wrecked by Gordon Brown who abolished the dividend tax relief when PEPs were abolished. We need a longterm savings scheme with encouragement with a flat rate of tax relief for all with limited fund access for support in redundancy or ill health. such savings to be free of IHT if passed on for next generation long term savings. BUT the tax relilef only to be available on investment in Equities becasue this is what Britain needs, namely long term investment capital to recreate manufacturing jobs to elimninate the scandal of unemployment and horendous balance of payments deficit caused by lack of investment in manufacturing. That is where tax breaks need to be concentrated. If output goes up, enemployment falls and our trade deficit eliminated, then the issues of pension income in retirement will be solved. However State pension age will have to go up to 70. Lord Turner once said in private that 73 was the needed age on account of longevity and falling birthrate, if proportion of the GDP spent on pensions was to be mainatined.
    Personal Accounts are irelvant and will never see the light of day in their present form.

  10. CAT standard, Stakeholder and now Personal Accounts all RIP.

  11. When Gordon ‘Big Brain’ Brown removed tax reliefs for pension funds in 1997 I said, unlike many commentators in the media, that this would be the beginning of the end for UK pensions.

    Having sold pensions for a living I was fully aware that, at least for the individual investor, the potential for ‘tax free’ growth was the most compelling of motivations.

    G ‘BB’ Brown, never having had anything to do with managing anything, let alone understanding peoples motivations for investing in Savings, Pensions or Investments, had absolutely no idea what he was getting into.

    Whilst I have no liking for Cherie Blair she was quite correct in saying that as far as politics goes Brown is a flawed character.

    Looked at from outside he appears to over estimate own abilities, never accepts advice unless it supports his own preconceived views, believes that he can ‘micro-manage’ down to the ‘enth’ degree and is far too arrogant to admit to being wrong about anything, even probably to himself.

    Selling off the UK gold reserves at the bottom of the market was another of his ‘brilliant wheezes’ to temporarily ‘balance the books’. However that was just a minor blip next to the decimation of pension funds. The fallout from this fiasco will continue for the next 30 years or so. Yes Gordon, you have ‘made a difference’! So much of difference that a whole generation is going to have to pay the bill!

    Unfortunately the vast majority of our ‘Politicians’ no longer have much proper work experience. ‘Working’ as ‘researchers’, ‘advisers’, union reps. etc…etc…. qualifies them for nothing, it’s all theory and social conscience, no experience of managing anything!

    To cap this, by all accounts, Brown has such confidence in his abilities that has tried to ‘micro-manage’ everything. The flaw in his character however meant that he did this purely for, his own, political advantage when at the Treasury and has hardly changed since!

    Now he has suddenly found that, in the bloated public services there is so much that can be saved through ‘efficiency’ savings that there is little need for a public debt reduction plan as these savings will look after most of the £170 billion or so. If these savings are potentially so vast then why have we been spending all this money for the past 12 years? And while we are on this topic why are there now more than 125 ‘Quangos’ that are suddenly surplus to requirements? If Gordon was so brilliant why have these been funded for the past 12 years?

    It would be interesting to find out how many Quangos have been set up in the last 12 years. I bet it is many more than the 125 now earmarked for the chop!!! In any case knows he will never get rid of that many in six months, his policy now is just to try to lay as many IED’s for the next government as possible!

    Another point, I don’t believe Brown has the guts, or Balls to go for a quick election, preferring to hang on and hang on in the hope that something will turn up.

  12. Stop the bus, I want to get off.

    What do you mean I am stuck with it? That can’t be right!

    The whole thing is bust.

    Roll on the revolution.

  13. If personal accounts go ahead, do we really want the personal details of every adult in the UK being passed to a foreign owned & operated company – in a country where significant DPA breaches have already occurred and control & influence would only be at arms length.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm