Leonardo Electronics Group Pension Scheme completes £160m buy-in

The Leonardo Electronics Group Pension Scheme has completed a £160m buy-in with Just Group, a deal that covers all 1,253 UK pensioners in the scheme.

The company manufactures helicopters, planes, torpedoes and more, and has a pension scheme worth £1bn that caters for those from its Electronics, Defence and Security Systems division with non-trivial annual pensions.

Leonardo’s trustees were advised by Aon, Burges Salmon, and River & Mercantile throughout the transaction, while Just Group received guidance from Pinsent Masons.

Leonardo UK head of pensions, Mike Nixon, said: “It’s great news that we have secured the benefits of our pensioners with Just Group and that we were able to complete the transaction despite the turbulence in markets. Our scheme is still open to accrual, but our strong funding position meant we have been able to lock down this risk at an early stage.”

Just Group chief executive, David Richardson, commented that the support provided to Leonardo demonstrated that Just “continue to offer defined benefit de-risking solutions to provide peace of mind to pension schemes at this time of unprecedented change”, adding that all parties’ preparation had helped to ensure the transaction was “completed efficiently during major market uncertainty”.

Aon principal consultant, Michael Walker, added: “This complex deal started in late 2019 when markets were stable and completed in late March at an especially testing time in the financial markets. The success required close collaboration between Aon, and the other scheme advisers and continuous monitoring of changing conditions in the gilts and swaps markets - up to the last minute.

“We are particularly pleased to have worked with the trustees and with Just Group to have reached this result - and to have helped the Leonardo scheme to achieve its initial de-risking aims.”

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