Pensions FDs face meltdown

Finance directors of pension schemes that are not yet year 2000 compliant could face a logistical nightmare if they fail to transfer to new software, experts warned this week.

Big Five firms and pensions software providers say they are receiving ‘daily calls’ from companies using non-compliant resources, and wanting to outsource pensions administration to solve the problem.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ senior manager for global human resource solutions, Malcolm Reynolds, said: ‘Many systems providers have closed their books and are not taking any more business, but there is a selection process going on under which non-profitable organisations are being replaced by bigger firms.’ This approach could leave non-compliant companies out in the cold as the year 2000 approaches, and some existing software providers are cutting support for their products.

Malcolm Gray, finance director of railway pensions trustee company RAILpen Investments, said that this removal of support is putting additional pressure on the larger pensions software companies as many major customers decide to shift their business to those remaining in the market.

He said: ‘We will be moving our business from one system to another – and it will take over a year to complete – so I think it must now be too late for most companies which are not yet year-2000 compliant.’

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