UK - The Swan Hill Pension Scheme has become the latest UK firm to opt for a pension buyout, selecting Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) for the deal.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), which advised Swan Hill, said the transaction demonstrated the growing appetite for pension scheme buyouts by UK firms and said it was currently in the process of advising a dozen UK firms, including several FTSE 100 companies.
In addition, Watson Wyatt added it was currently giving advice on pension buyouts to UK schemes with total aggregate liabilities of over £100bn. It said the total appetite of UK firms to transfer pension liabilities was "largely unsatisfied".
According to figures from the ABI, only £3.6bn worth of buyout deals had been signed by the end of 2007, although this does not take into account the volume of business in the year to date.
Watson Wyatt added it did not envisage the total £100bn of liabilities to be transferred in the short term, but the figure was representative of the demand in the market.
Factors such as competition between providers and the historically wide yields between corporate bonds and gilts have led to buyout prices hitting a new low.