Aon Retirement Plan secures £510m buy-in with Scottish Widows

The Aon Bain Hogg Pension Scheme Section of the Aon Retirement Plan has completed a £510m pensioner buy-in with Scottish Widows.

This is the scheme’s fourth buy-in deal and the second for the Bain Hogg section, and represents a “significant further step” on its long-term de-risking journey.

Scottish Widows said it worked closely with the scheme trustee to ensure the arrangement was structured to meet the scheme’s needs and to enable the buy-in to be completed swiftly following exclusivity.

The scheme trustee was advised by Aon and CMS, while Scottish Widows was advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.

Commenting on the deal, Aon Retirement Plan chair of trustees, Andy Kieran, said: “The trustee has been working with our advisers over a number of years to manage risk in the plan and enhance the security of members’ benefits.

“We are very happy to have formed this partnership with Scottish Widows and this buy-in, completed in a very short timeframe in what has been a challenging year in financial markets, is another important step in the plan’s de-risking journey.”

Scottish Widows co-head of origination and structuring, bulk annuities, Lara Desay, said the firm was “proud” to have been chosen to help the trustee continue its de-risking journey and provide increased security to scheme members.

“Working in partnership with the trustee and our respective advisers was key to quickly developing and executing a clear timetable through a volatile period and we look forward to becoming a long-term partner,” she added.

Aon partner, Mike Edwards, stated that the transaction was a “great outcome for members”.

He continued: “The transaction was enabled by the clear objectives set by the trustee and a bespoke process we designed to enable the trustee to achieve those aims by taking advantage of current bulk annuity market dynamics.

“Over 2020 these dynamics have been characterised by intermittent periods of heightened market volatility and insurer appetite.”

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