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Pension Risk Transfer

Lennox International transfers $100 million in pension liabilities with annuity

Lennox International Inc., Richardson, Texas, purchased a group annuity contract from Pacific Life Insurance Co. to transfer $100 million in U.S. pension plan liabilities, the company disclosed in a 10-Q filing with the SEC on Monday.

The company did not disclose any information about the nature of the population of the retirees affected by the transfer of the responsibility for their benefit payments to Pacific Life, nor the timing of the transfer. Steve Harrison, vice president, investor relations, confirmed in an email that only participants currently receiving benefits are being transferred.

As of Dec. 31, Lennox's pension plan assets totaled $291 million, while projected benefit obligations totaled $372 million, for a funding ratio of 78.2%, according to the company's most recent 10-K filing. According to the same filing, the company froze the pension plan "over the past several years" and distributed lump sums in 2016 to former employees who were vested but had not yet begun receiving benefits who had elected to receive them. The total amount of the lump sums, and number of former employees who chose to receive them, was not disclosed.