The Co-operative Pension Scheme (Pace) has agreed its third buy-in this year, insuring £400m of liabilities in the Co-operative Bank section of the scheme with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC).
The transaction covers the liabilities for around 2,000 members and follows a separate £1bn buy-in with PIC for the Co-operative section in February, as well as a £1bn buy-in with Aviva in January. The liabilities of around 16,000 members have been insured this year.
It was completed earlier this month amid difficult market conditions, with PIC using an "innovative asset strategy and a streamlined process" to bring the deal to completion.
Pace trustee chairman Chris Martin, who is also executive chairman at Independent Trustee Services, said: "I'm delighted to have completed this transaction with PIC, which improves member security, particularly in volatile markets. The PIC team was focused and efficient, and the streamlined process meant this was a smooth transaction.
"Our experience of PIC's customer service following previous transactions meant choosing to work with them again was an easy decision."
Co-op Bank chief people officer Tracey Kneller added: "This buy-in represents a positive step in the management of the scheme as part of the good work of the trustee in continuing to implements its de-risking strategy, and will further strengthen the scheme for members."
PIC head of business development Mitul Magudia added: "Customer service is a key tenet of PIC, whatever the external circumstances, and it is rewarding to complete repeat business with clients who have had first-hand experience of our dedication in this area."
Aon acted as lead adviser to the transaction, with legal advice provided by Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills to the trustees and PIC respectively. Mercer provided the scheme with investment advice.
Aon risk settlement group partner Stephen Purves said: "The impact of the current market volatility presented some pricing opportunities for the scheme, but the key to its success was close price monitoring and being well positioned to execute quickly and efficiently when the time was right."
Around £6.3bn of pension scheme liabilities have so far been insured this year, with PIC picking up around £3bn of them. It follows a bumper £44bn year in 2019.
The number of defined benefit (DB) scheme members with benefits protected by an insurer will double by the middle of the decade, according to Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP).
Aviva Life & Pensions has concluded an £875m buy-in with its own staff pension scheme, following on from a similar transaction last year.
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.