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Risk Management

Wolseley Group pension plan enters into buy-in with PIC

Wolseley Group Retirement Benefits Plan, Reading, England, insured 600 million ($803 million) of liabilities with Pension Insurance Corp., said a spokeswoman at Aon, sole adviser on the deal.

The pension buy-in covers all retiree liabilities of a 1.3 billion pension fund of Wolseley U.K., a subsidiary of Ferguson PLC, global specialist distributor of heating and plumbing products.

"This buy-in covering a significant proportion of our overall liabilities is the logical next step in our derisking strategy for the plan. Over the past couple of years we have matched an increasing amount of our assets and liabilities, and this strategy has now allowed us to take advantage of market conditions and fully insure these liabilities," said David Illingworth, chairman of the pension fund's trustees, in a news release.

John Baines, partner at Aon, added in the release: "By spending time carefully preparing an approach to market they were able to present a compelling business case to insurers. When initial pricing exceeded expectations, the nimbleness of decision-making allowed us to accelerate the project and to lock into very favorable pricing."

A Ferguson spokesman could not be reached for comment.