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CMS advises Commonwealth Bank of Australia pensions scheme trustee on c.£420m buy-in

8 July 2021

International law firm CMS has acted as legal adviser to the Trustee of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (UK) Staff Benefits Scheme (the Scheme) in relation to a c.£420m full buy-in with Legal & General Assurance Society Ltd (LGAS). 

This transaction covers all of the Scheme’s defined benefit members comprising approximately 440 non-retired members and 740 retirees. It represents a significant step in its planned de-risking journey. 

Peter Thompson, Capital Cranfield Pension Trustees Limited, says: “We are very pleased to have secured the pension benefits for all members of the defined benefit section our scheme, achieving our goal of providing members with long-term certainty ahead of schedule. It is a testament to the expertise of our specialist advisers that we were able to achieve this excellent outcome.”

James Parker, CMS Pensions partner, comments: “We are delighted to have supported the Trustee in taking this step on its de-risking journey and delivering such a positive outcome for members. Working together with LCP, we were really able to bring to bear our specialist transactional knowledge on this deal, and in particular, our expertise in executing vendor-led residual risks transactions.” 

The CMS team was led by James Parker and included Mark Jenkins, Victoria Mance, India Trusselle, Amina Mahmood, Claire Miller and Santi Bicchieri. 

CMS is at the forefront of the de-risking market, advising trustees, sponsors and insurers across the entire spectrum of de-risking options. The Pensions team advised on £18bn worth of de-risking transactions completed in 2020. It has also advised on six out of the eight longevity swap conversions that have taken place to date, and many of the large-scale longevity swaps in the market including advising Pacific Life Re on the £10bn transaction with the Lloyds Banking Group pension scheme, the second largest longevity swap ever completed.