Cookson Group agrees second pensions buy in

Cookson Group, which de-merged its performance materials division in December 2012 to form Vesuvius, has signed a second bulk-annuity policy for its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.

Employees who retire in each of the next three years will have their pensions agreed on insured terms with provider Pension Insurance Corporation.

The first tranche of employees, covering those who retire between July 2012 and December 2013, will be insured in 2014 based on market rates from December 2012, which aims to remove price uncertainty from the trustee’s de-risking plans.

The policy covers up to £30 million of liabilities. It follows the £320 million pensioner buy-in, which was announced in July 2012.

The trustee was advised by Aon Hewitt.

Allan Course, chairman of the trustee at the Cookson Group Pension Scheme, said: “We continue to work closely with Vesuvius to manage a gradual de-risking of the plan. The approach we developed with Pension Insurance Corporation and our advisors at Aon Hewitt enables us to achieve this.

“We are delighted to have locked in pricing for the first tranche of retirees. This removes volatility from the plan and allows us to develop our future strategy with confidence.”

Jay Shah, co-head of business origination at Pension Insurance Corporation, added: “We believe that by locking into pricing for 2014 today, the trustee has been forward thinking and proactive in managing its pension plan risk.”

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Paul Belok, partner at Aon Hewitt, said: “The approach adopted here reflects the trend towards well-planned de-risking programmes.

“Most schemes are now working towards lower risk and insurance is playing an increasing role in this.”