Metal Box Pension Scheme secures £2.2bn buy-in with PIC

The Metal Box Pension Scheme has secured a £2.2bn pension insurance buy-in with the Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), securing the benefits for its 10,3000 pensioners and 2,200 non-pensioner members, with a move to buyout expected in November 2021.

As reported by our sister title, Pensions Age, the planned transition to buyout will see each member become a PIC policyholder, and will also remove the scheme’s liabilities from the balance sheet of the scheme sponsor, Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Ltd, a subsidiary of Crown Holdings Inc.

The transaction was led by company advisers, Mercer and Sackers, with the trustees receiving separate advice from Willis Towers Watson, Mayer Brown and Lincoln, while PIC was advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.

Metal Box Pension Scheme trustee chair, Gary Fishlock, commented: “We are delighted to have reached this position of securing our members’ benefits in full following a thorough selection process.

“Working alongside the company and our respective advisers, we selected PIC based on their proven customer service standards and strong financial credentials. This has been the culmination of a successful journey over many years, supported by the company.”

Crown Packaging European Division GmbH senior vice president, Sidione Lécluse, added: “This successful outcome for the scheme members is the result of collaborative company and trustee planning and activity over the last 10 years.

“We are pleased to have enabled the trustee to fully secure members’ benefits at an earlier point than they had expected. Our respective advisers have worked together to ensure both company and trustee objectives were met.”

Adding to this, PIC head of business development, Mitul Magudia, highlighted the deal as an "important transaction", which is a "direct result of a collaborative approach between the trustee, company, their respective advisers, and PIC over the last 12 months".

"We expect this transaction to form a blueprint for others looking to achieve similar objectives in the future and are of course delighted to have written the biggest transaction of this year so far," he continued.

Mercer risk transfer partner, Ben Stone, also identified extensive planning and preparation work as the "key to this successful transaction", coupled with the company and trustee setting clear objectives from day one.

"Taking this approach with insurers, while supported by the trustee advisers, enabled a very smooth transaction to complete with no surprises.”

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