The pension scheme of building supplies group Kingfisher has agreed a £200m (€229m) buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC).
The £4bn pension fund has now insured more than 10% of its liabilities.
Clive Gilchrist, chairman of the Kingfisher trustee board, described the deal as “another important step for the Kingfisher Pension Scheme on its journey towards its target of self-sufficiency”.
He added: “The annuity provides a further improvement to the financial security of the scheme for all members.”
John Baines, partner at Aon, which advised the trustees, said: “The trustees were able to secure a valuable price lock to immunise the scheme from market movements over a potentially volatile year-end period.”
The buy-in was the scheme’s second following a medically underwritten buy-in backed by Legal & General and completed in 2016.
UK schemes were increasingly interested in insuring liabilities in stages rather than all at once, according to PIC’s head of business development Mitul Magudia.
“With pension schemes moving increasingly into fixed income assets that better match their liabilities, we would expect this trend to continue,” he said. “This is the route that the Kingfisher trustees have taken and we are very pleased to have been able to help them continue their de-risking programme.”
This strategy was also advocated by the ICI Pension Fund, which has insured nearly three-quarters of its £10bn liabilities in a series of transactions.
Kingfisher is a FTSE 100-listed company that owns chains including B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix.
Since the start of last year PIC has insured more than £2.2bn worth of liabilities through buy-in or buyout deals. Among the largest of these were a £725m buy-in with the Former Registered Dock Workers Pension Fund, a £600m buy-in with plumbing company Wolseley, and a £350m buy-in with two schemes sponsored by energy company SSE.