Ford pension scheme completes £340m partial buy-in with Scottish Widows

The Ford Pension Scheme for Senior Staff has completed a £340m partial scheme buy-in with Scottish Widows.

Aon was the lead adviser on the deal, while legal advice was provided to the trustee by Mayer Brown and Hogan Lovells and independent professional trustee support was provided by PAN Trustees UK. Scottish Widows was advised by Eversheds Sutherland.

Ford Pension Scheme for Senior Staff chair of the trustee board, Lucy Millar, highlighted the deal as a “significant further de-risking step that will provide greater security for members’ benefits”.

“The collaborative approach between all parties enabled fast and effective decision-making which allowed the Scheme to capitalise on favourable market conditions,” she continued.

Adding to this, Scottish Widows head of origination and structuring, Matt Wilmington, said: “Since September 2022, the bulk annuity market is seeing unprecedented demand and we have focused on adapting to this new environment.

“This transaction is testament both to the speed at which we have adapted and the value of the preparatory work to help schemes place themselves well in the market.

"We are proud to have secured these benefits for the scheme’s members through working closely and effectively with the teams involved.”

This sentiment was echoed by Aon associate partner, Hannah Brinton, who noted that whilst the bulk annuity market remains "exceptionally busy", attractive pricing opportunities and terms are available for pension schemes which are fully prepared and have robust governance in place.

“It highlights the importance of early asset planning, particularly where there is a common investment fund and illiquid investments to consider, as well that pricing opportunities for deferred liabilities are considerably better than we have seen in the past," she added.

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