Pensions Investment Practice

Linklaters’ Pensions Investment Practice is an accessible single source of expertise on the full range of matters relating to the investment of pensions funds.

It is a cross-specialism client-sector based practice, involving lawyers from the Pensions Group, Investment Management Group, Derivatives Group, Financial Regulation Group and the Insurance Group, and offering an integrated service to pension funds needing advice in relation to any aspect of their investments.

We apply our extensive experience to make sure each project is delivered successfully with individual trustee goals in mind. We understand regulation, tackle risk and supply insight and innovation.

Our experience

De-risking

For more information on our De-risking expertise, click through to our De-risking client service page.

  • the Trustee of the Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund on its £4.6bn buy-in with Legal and General which signed in June 2019
  • the Trustee of the Pearson Pension Plan on two umbrella buy-in policies with Aviva and Legal & General in 2017, covering £1.2bn of pensioner liabilities, and the addition of a further £500m of liabilities to the Legal & General policy in early 2019
  • the Trustee of the Marks and Spencer Pension Scheme on two umbrella buy-in policies in 2018 with Aviva and Phoenix Life, a further umbrella buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation in 2019 and an additional transaction with Phoenix Life under the existing umbrella buy-in in 2019. These cover in total £2.9bn of the Scheme’s liabilities.
  • the Trustee of the Rentokil Initial 2015 Pension Scheme on its £1.5bn buy-out with Pension Insurance Corporation plc completed at the end of 2018
  • the Trustees of the Dresdner Kleinwort Pension Plan on their £1.2bn buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation plc in which covered both the Plan’s final salary section and hybrid money purchase section

Longevity

  • £5bn Aviva insurance based longevity swap - at the time, the largest of its kind, covering 19,000 members.
  • £3bn Roll-Royce/Deutsche Bank derivatives-based longevity swap.
  • AstraZeneca £2.5bn derivatives-based longevity swap – 10,000 pensioners covered.

Funds

  • Acted for various trustees – including USS, BP, Mineworkers Pension Scheme, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Diageo – on their investment in private equity, real estate, hedge, distressed debt, infrastructure, currency and insurance-related securities funds.
  • Experience of setting up complex bespoke investment arrangements and special purpose vehicles for large pension funds such as bespoke pooled arrangements.

DC specific issues

  • Trustees, including the Pensions Trust, on insurance-based DC investment platform providers.
  • Advised major pension funds on DC governance having had one of our lawyers seconded to the Pensions Regulator during development of the DC Code.

 

Governance

  • Investment governance audit for USS leading to the implementation of an FSA authorised investment management subsidiary for the trustee and review of committee structures and terms of reference.
  • Tesco trustees on the implications of a change in their investment governance structures, including the establishment of an FSA investment management subsidiary.
  • IMA amendment for major pension funds to ensure EMIR compliance and in some cases to allow EMIR/Dodd-Frank clearing.

Buy-ins/buy-out

  • The Uniq trustees in purchasing a £830m bulk annuity from Rothesay Life
  • Legal & General on the buy-out of the £1.1bn T&N Scheme
  • Tate & Lyle trustees on a £347m partial pensioner buy-in – approximately 34% of total pension liabilities.

Asset-backed structures

  • Marks & Spencer trustees on the first property-based asset-backed contribution structure which defined the market.
  • Diageo trustees on an asset backed contribution structure with whisky as the underlying asset.
  • John Laing and Costain trustees on a structure with PFI rights as the underlying asset.