International law firm CMS has acted as legal adviser to its longstanding client the Trustee of the Aon Retirement Plan (the Plan) in relation to a £510 million buy-in transaction with Scottish Widows, covering the Aon Bain Hogg Pension Scheme Section of the Aon Retirement Plan. The transaction completed in November 2020.
This transaction is the Plan’s fourth pension scheme buy-in and the second for the Section. It represents a significant further step in the Plan’s long-term de-risking journey and was completed quickly following an exclusivity agreement with Scottish Widows.
Mark Jenkins, a partner in the CMS Pensions team, comments: “We are delighted to have supported the Trustee in the completion of another successful buy-in transaction. CMS has now advised the Trustee on a total of four buy-in transactions, helping to secure the benefits of thousands of pension scheme members. As a market-leader in both pensions advice and de-risking, our team is well-placed to support clients on strategic transactions of this nature.”
Andy Kieran, Chair of Trustees, Aon Retirement Plan, adds: “The Trustee has been working with our advisers over a number of years to manage risk in the Plan and enhance the security of members’ benefits. We are very happy to have formed this partnership with Scottish Widows and this buy-in, completed in a very short timeframe in what has been a challenging year in financial markets, is another important step in the Plan’s de-risking journey.”
The CMS team was led by Mark Jenkins and supported by associate Rebecca Carter (Pensions).
The CMS Pensions team has had a raft of successes in the pensions de-risking arena over the past 12 months, acting on 8 out of the 10 transactions over £1bn, including advising on the UK’s biggest ever pensions buy-out transaction (Stanhope Pension Trust’s £4.7 billion deal with Rothesay Life), the conversion of the MNOPF’s £1.6bn longevity swap into a buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation, and the conversion of LV=’s £800m longevity swap into a buy-in with Phoenix Life.
CMS has also been recognised as Law Firm of the Year at the UK Pension and Investment Provider Awards 2020 and Pensions Lawyers of the Year at the Professional Pensions UK Pensions Awards 2020. CMS was also named the top firm for Supporting Development at the Professional Pensions Rising Star Awards 2020, where the firm was commended for its well-rounded approach to the professional development of its lawyers.