Aon has advised the Smiths Group pension schemes on their eighth bulk annuity purchase.


Image: Aon Tower in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Courtesy of Adam.J.W.C/

The £3bn Smiths Industries Pension Scheme has secured a new £176m bulk annuity, its second with Canada Life. As with the scheme’s previous buy-ins in 2016 and 2017, the purchase was well-timed to capture strong pricing opportunities, with the annuity improving the return on scheme assets while reducing risk. The trustees were advised by Aon, using its Compass bulk annuity platform.

Aon has now secured eight bulk annuities, totalling around £1.6bn across the sponsor’s two schemes. This process – one of the market’s longest-established programmes of phased de-risking – has removed risks for the majority of the pensioner liabilities.

Nicholas Godden, Chair of the Trustee of the Smiths Industries Pension Scheme, said:

“This is another key stride in our de-risking strategy, taking advantage of the strong backing of counter-parties like Canada Life, and thanks to our advisers and the Group’s continued support.”

Richard Priestley, Executive Director, Canada Life said:

“We are very pleased to expand our relationship with Smiths Industries Pension Scheme.  As we become more established in the bulk annuity market, more clients are recognising the value and security we offer.”

Dominic Grimley, Risk Settlement adviser at Aon, said:

“This transaction followed a period of careful market monitoring, where we waited for the right opportunities to emerge. All parties involved have considerable market experience and this encouraged a swift conclusion once pricing was accessible.”

This initiative is part of a wider framework under which the trustee and employer are continuing to work together to support further de-risking, capturing market opportunities and capacity.

Source: Company Press Release