The Aon Minet Pension Scheme has successfully completed a bulk enhanced transfer value (ETV) exercise in the latest stage of its de-risking strategy.
Around 250 deferred members, who account for a third of that membership, accepted the offer of an ETV for a limited period, resulting in a £60m improvement in the scheme's buyout position.
It follows three buy-ins secured by the fund over the past few years, with the latest in November 2014.
The members had free independent financial advice throughout the ETV exercise.
Chairman of trustees Steve Gilbert said the successful completion of the project was down to collaboration between all parties.
"The close collaboration between the company, trustees and their advisers was vital in the overall success of the project and in designing an offer that would meet the objective of all stakeholders. The trustees now have a smaller scheme to manage with reduced pension risk. Working collaboratively with all parties was vital to this agreement and we have achieved a successful outcome for everyone involved."
The Aon Minet scheme will now offer retiring members the option to transfer out benefits as standard practice. They will be provided with financial education and support through use of the Aon Retirement Options Model which is a web-based tool, as well as independent financial advice.
Aon Hewitt senior consultant and member options specialist Jamil Merali said he was delighted the scheme was able to complete the ETV soon after the recent buy-ins.
"For the bulk exercises, deferred members, most notably, were given a new option and were able to make an informed decision about their options on the bulk exercise. Making use of the Aon Retirement Options Model will help future retirees to make the best choice to suit their needs."
He added the ETV exercise was helped along by last year's merger of Aon's liability management and risk settlement teams in response to increased scheme demand to accelerate their journey to buyout by looking at different ways to make it more affordable.
Given the ETV for the Aon Minet scheme has been a success, the firm is looking at similar opportunities across the other pension schemes it sponsors, although it is early days.
Merali said what is right for the Aon Minet scheme may not necessarily be right for the other schemes.
Just Group has completed a £74m pensioner buy-in with the UK pension scheme of a US-listed engineering business.
The Smiths Industries Pension Scheme has secured a £146m buy-in with Canada Life in its fourth bulk annuity and its sponsor’s tenth overall.
The Prudential Staff Pension Scheme has entered into a £3.7bn longevity swap with Pacific Life Re, insuring the longevity risk of over 20,000 pensioners.
The Baker Hughes (UK) Pension Plan has secured approximately £100m of liabilities through a buy-in with Just Group.
There have now been a total of 30 longevity swaps over £1bn publicly announced. The full list, provided by Willis Towers Watson and through PP research, is as follows...