Under advice from Hammonds partner Fraser Sparks, the schemes’ trustees, Capita, have agreed a buyout with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), a subsidiary of pension scheme consolidator Pension Corporation.
Under the terms of the deal, Pension Corporation, advised by Clifford Chance partner Nicholas Sherwin, has become the sponsoring employer of the schemes.
This has allowed DMML, which was advised by Baker & McKenzie partner Chantal Thompson, to remove the pension scheme liabilities from its balance sheet.
Capita also bought a bulk annuity contract from PIC to cover the schemes’ pensioners and deferred members, with total liabilities valued in excess of £100m.
Sparks said: “This was an extremely complex deal whereby the insurance company not only issued an all risks buy-in policy, but also took over as the sponsoring employer of the pension schemes.”
Pension scheme buyouts have risen in popularity over the past couple of years as companies look at ways of offloading the cost of funding deficits and meeting scheme liabilities.
A source close to the Capita deal said: “This is quite unusual and it can be costly, but there are great benefits. By purchasing all risk the winding up of the pension schemes takes a matter of weeks rather than years.”
This is the first major deal Hammonds’ pensions practice has advised on since losing London pensions head Jay Doraisamy earlier this year. Doraisamy left for partnership at Eversheds at the end of Hammonds’ lock-in period. A year ago Leeds pensions head Terry Saeedi also left for partnership at Eversheds.
Hammonds has since vowed to build up its pensions practice, promoting Birmingham-based Sarah Franklin and Manchester-based Charmian Johnson to the junior partnership earlier this year.
Clifford Chance and Baker & McKenzie were unavailable for comment.