Commonwealth Bank of Australia UK pension scheme agrees £420m buy-in

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (UK) Staff Benefits Scheme has agreed a £420m full scheme buy-in with Legal & General (L&G) Assurance Society, covering all of the scheme’s defined benefit members.

The agreement has been highlighted as a “significant step” on the scheme’s de-risking journey, securing benefits for approximately 440 non-retired members and 740 retirees.

The scheme’s sole trustee is Capital Cranfield Pension Trustees Limited, with LCP acting as specialist de-risking adviser to the trustee and Mercer acting as administrator and scheme actuary.

Legal advice was provided to the trustee by CMS and to L&G by Slaughter and May.

The scheme has been a client of L&G Investment Management (LGIM) for the past 12 years, explaining that this therefore allowed them to lock pricing to their LGIM assets ahead of the transaction.

Commenting on the deal, Capital Cranfield Pension Trustees professional trustee, Peter Thompson, commented: “We are very pleased to have insured the pension benefits for all members of the defined benefit section of the scheme, achieving our goal of providing members with long-term certainty.

“It is a testament to the expertise of our specialist advisers that we were able to achieve this excellent outcome.”

L&G Retirement Institutional head of origination and execution, Dominic Moret, said: “It was a great pleasure to work with the trustee, the sponsor and their advisers on this transaction, after a longstanding investment management relationship.

“We are delighted to welcome the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s scheme members to L&G as we support the scheme in providing further certainty to them.”

LCP partner, Tim Gilbert, added: “We are delighted to have helped the trustee achieve its objective of insuring the risks for all members in the scheme.

“In our role as investment and specialist de-risking adviser, we helped the trustee design an investment strategy that protected the scheme against market movements alongside an effective plan for approaching the market which secured full benefits within the assets of the scheme.”

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