IAS 19 paras 109-111, settlement loss after bulk annuity buy in with insurance company

Smiths Group plc – Annual report – 31 July 2022

Industry: manufacturing

8 Retirement benefits (extract)

TI Group Pension Scheme (‘TIGPS’)

This scheme was closed to future accrual effective 1 November 2009. TIGPS provides index-linked (to applicable caps) pension benefits based on final earnings at the date of closure. TIGPS is governed by a corporate trustee (TI Pension Trustee Limited, an independent company). The board of trustee directors comprises four Company-nominated trustees and four member-nominated trustees, with an independent trustee director selected by the trustee. The trustee is responsible for the management, administration, funding and investment strategy of the scheme.

In June 2022 the TIGPS trustee completed a deal to secure its remaining uninsured pension liabilities, by way of a bulk annuity buy-in with Rothesay Life plc. This means all of the scheme’s liabilities are insured via seven buy-in policies. The final buy-in has been secured with an intention to fully buy-out the Scheme as soon as reasonably practical and within a period of four years. Consequently, the income statement recognises a settlement loss of £171m in relation to the buy-in. In terms agreed between the Group and the TIGPS trustee prior to the transaction, when TIGPS converts all of its buy-in policies to buy-out policies and subsequently winds-up, the trustee is expected to use any surplus remaining, after the costs of buying-out and winding-up the scheme have been met, to improve member benefits. A past service cost of £24m has been recognised for this in the income statement. The Group has no expectation of receiving a refund from the scheme and has placed an economic benefit value of zero on the TIGPS surplus from 10 June 2022.

As TIGPS currently retains the legal obligation to pay all scheme benefits, TIGPS liabilities remain part of the retirement benefit obligations on the balance sheet alongside the corresponding buy-in assets. These liabilities and assets will be de-recognised at the point the buy-in policies are converted to buy-outs and the legal obligation for payment of benefits is transferred to the relevant insurers.

The most recent actuarial valuation of this scheme has been performed using the Projected Unit Method as at 5 April 2020. The valuation showed a surplus of £22m on the Technical Provisions funding basis at the valuation date and the funding position has improved since then. Given TIGPS’s circumstances, the Group’s current expectation is that no further contributions to TIGPS will be required.

The duration of the TIGPS liabilities is around 21 years (FY2021: 23 years) for active deferred members, 19 years (FY2021: 21 years) for deferred members and 10 years (FY2021: 11 years) for pensioners and dependants.