Vestey Group enters pension buy-in

The Vestey Group has entered into a buy-in arrangement for its Western United Group pension scheme, the defined benefit (DB) scheme for its current and former employees.

The transaction, with insurer Rothesay Life, involved a £115 million exchange of UK gilts for a bulk annuity insurance policy to secure a portion of the liabilities associated with paying pensions to scheme members.

The pension trustees were advised by Lane Clark and Peacock.

Ben Fowler, group head of reward for Vestey Group, said: “Our decision to enter into the buy-in policy with Rothesay Life is part of the trustee’s and company’s long-term plan to secure our members’ benefits by investing in assets that match the scheme’s liabilities.

“The buy-in has given us a secure, low-risk asset into which we could switch our relatively highly-valued gilts, picking up other protections, such as cover against longevity risk and pension increase risk for a portion of the scheme’s liabilities.”