Simon GilliesTasmania’s $3.4 billion Retirement Benefits Fund has made a decision regarding the outsourcing of its member administration, with the chosen provider a big player in the defined benefit superannuation market.

The board of the public sector super fund last week selected Mercer as its preferred partner after a tender process which began in April this year.

I&T News understands four administration providers responded to the RFP, with Mercer pipping the NSW government-owned Pillar Administration for the contract.

The board will now enter into further discussions with Mercer to develop and design an outsource solution which Simon Gillies, chief executive of RBF, said would “capture both the value of outsourcing and the ability for RBF to leverage and focus on its competitive advantages in face-to-face member and stakeholder service and relationship development”.

“Our business is servicing our members and RBF is confident that a partnership with Mercer would allow us to better service our members with industry-leading products and services,” he said.

“Mercer can provide a sophisticated, contemporary solution which offers business model flexibility and risk mitigation and control. Mercer has the ability to assist RBF to achieve our long-term strategic goals and our vision to be the leading provider of superannuation services to the Tasmanian public sector.”

Mercer uses Bravura’s Superb 2000 system and dominates

Australia’s defined benefit market.

RBF has three defined benefit schemes – the State Fire Commission Superannuation Scheme, which was closed to new members in July 2005, the RBF Contributory Scheme, which was closed to new employees in May 1999 and the Tasmanian Ambulance Service Superannuation Scheme (TASSS), which was closed to new entrants in June 2006.

All employees who commenced work in the public sector on or after May 15, 1999 are required to join RBF’s Tasmanian Accumulation Scheme.

RBF will outsource its administration processes and platform as part of the deal, and Gillies said the move would deliver the fund’s 83,000 members – around one in every three Tasmanians – competitive fees and charges.

“The aim is to have a final outsource solution and target business model agreed by the board in December 2009 and complete transitioning and implementation over the following two years,” he said.

Staff were informed in July 2008 that there would be redundancies as a result of the decision to outsource but Gillies said numbers would not be finalised until the final outsource solution and subsequent transitioning plan were confirmed.

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