ICR enters into pension insurance buy-in

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) Pension Scheme has entered into a pension insurance buy-in to cover £30 million of liabilities for its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.

The buy-in was concluded by Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC). The trustees were advised by Punter Southall and Towers Watson.

John Roberts, chair of the board of trustees for the ICR Pension Scheme, said: “Like many organisations, we were facing potentially significant financial liabilities from our pension scheme as our retiring staff lived longer and drew their pensions over a longer period.

“We’re therefore very pleased to have insured ourselves against those financial risks, and to have controlled the costs of doing so by taking advantage of the high value of gilts. The PIC team was flexible and proactive in helping us arrange this transaction, which puts us on a firm financial footing for the future and allows us to focus on what matters most to us: our world-leading cancer research.”

Matt Barnes, senior actuary at Pension Insurance Corporation, added: “We are proud to have been able to help the ICR conclude this transaction, which it viewed purely as an investment decision; trading gilts for a bulk annuity policy.

“Given the current value of gilts, a buy-in will typically not result in a significant additional contribution cost for the sponsor. A large number of schemes are currently looking at the gilts-for-annuities trade.”