Risk transfer


Pension schemes are increasingly exploring how they can transfer the risks associated with their DB pension arrangements, whether to an insurance company, superfund, consolidator or through a longevity transaction.

The last six years have seen an unprecedented increase in risk transfer activity and 2020 was another record-breaking year for the industry. We have advised on some of the most significant transactions including the largest buy-in of 2020. Having consistently advised between 20-30% of buy-in / buy-out transactions by value, we offer industry-leading experience to trustees and employers.

In the last three years, we have assisted our clients with longevity swaps totalling £10bn. Having advised on pension scheme longevity swaps since the first transactions, we have negotiated insurance and derivatives-based longevity and collateralised transactions, including some of the most complex and significant transactions in the market. Our focus is not only trustee side – our team of experts have experience advising both buy-side and sell-side, built up over the last 15 years.

We have extensive experience of DB consolidation and superfunds. DB consolidation is an area that has gained traction in recent years and ranges from shared services and asset pooling, to single governance models such as DB master trusts or transfers to DB “superfunds” where the link with the sponsoring employer is cut. While the superfund market is in its infancy, we are actively involved in anticipated first wave discussions for superfund transactions. We have advised on several transfers to DB master trusts and our broad experience advising trustees of pension schemes, together with our industry involvement and expertise in general risk management solutions means we are well placed to advise trustees and employers interested in this developing area.

Transactions over £100m which the team advised on in 2020 are set out below.

Read our latest guide for trustees on buy-ins, buy-outs and longevity solutions.

Recent experience

  • Advising the trustees of the Mowlem (1993) Pension  Scheme on a £150m PPF+ buy-out transaction, securing the benefits of over 360 deferred members and 650 retirees.
  • Advising the trustees of the National Grid UK Pension Scheme on a £800m buy-in with Rothesay Life.
  • Advising RockRose Energy (Marathon Services (GB) Limited Pension and Life assurance scheme) on a £610m buy-in Rothesay Life.
  • Advising the trustees of the Siemens Benefits Scheme on a £530m buy-in with L&G.
  • Advising the trustees of the Smiths Industries Pension Scheme on a £146m buy-in with Canada Life.
  • Advising the trustees of the TI Group Pension Scheme on a £142m buy-in with Aviva.
  • Advising the Trustee of HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme on a £7bn longevity swap with PICA (the second largest ever deal for a UK pension scheme).
  • Advising the trustees of the Smiths Industries Pension Scheme on two buy-outs with Canada Life for £210m and £176m respectively.
  • Advising Groupe PSA (company) on the Peugeot Advanced Pension Plan’s £140m buy-in with Scottish Widows.
  • Advising the trustees of the Reuters Pension Fund on their £625m buy-in with Canada Life, the insurers largest ever deal.
  • Advising the Trustee of the Siemens Benefit Scheme on their £1.3bn buy-in with PIC.
  • Advising the Trustee of the Royal Mail Pension Plan, Post Office Limited section, on their £450m buy-in with Rothesay Life.
  • Advising the Trustee of the Tullet Prebon Pension Scheme on their £270m all-risks buy-in with Rothesay Life.
  • Advising the Trustee of the Cancer Research Pension Scheme on their £250m buy-in with Canada Life.
  • Advising the Trustee of the Blackwell’s Pension Fund on the transition of the buy-in transacted in 2015 to a full buy-out with PIC and a wind-up of the scheme which completed in June 2017.
  • Advising the trustees of the Northern Bank Pension Scheme on a £680m buy-in with Prudential, putting in place a collateralised security structure.