The Church Commissioners has announced a new funding commitment of £100m (Є113m) in response to findings of a full report of the institution’s endowment and its historic links to transatlantic chattel slavery.

In response to the findings, the Church Commissioners’ board is committed to trying to “address some of the past wrongs by investing in a better future”, it said in a statement this morning.

It will seek to do this through committing £100m of funding, delivered over the next nine years commencing in 2023, to a programme of investment, research and engagement.

To that end, it will establish a new impact investment fund to invest for a “better and fairer future for all”, particularly for communities affected by historic slavery.

It is expected this fund will grow over time, reinvesting returns to enable it to have a positive legacy that will exist in perpetuity, and with the potential for other institutions to participate, further enabling growth in the size and impact of the fund.

Growth in the impact fund will also enable grant funding for projects focused on improving opportunities for communities adversely impacted by historic slavery, the board stated.

The Church Commissioners will also continue to use its voice as a responsible investor to address and combat modern slavery and human rights violations, and to seek to address injustice and inequalities, it said.

A new oversight group will be formed during 2023 with significant membership from communities impacted by historic slavery. This group will work with the Church Commissioners on shaping and delivering the response, listening widely to ensure this work is done sensitively and with accountability.

Gates schemes complete £132m buy-in deal with PIC

The Gates group has completed a £132m buy-in deal for two of its pension funds – the Tomkins Schemes – with insurer Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC).

The two Tomkins Schemes were both partially bought-in already, but had significant uninsured liabilities for both pensioner and deferred members. As a result of the transaction with PIC, all defined benefit (DB) liabilities of the Tomkins Schemes have been fully insured.

This transaction gives members additional security that their benefits will be fully-paid since, in addition to the support provided by the Gates group, the benefits are insured with a Financial Conduct Authority-authorised insurer.

Global law firm Hogan Lovells has advised Capital Cranfield Trustee Limited, the schemes’ trustee, and has also advised the trustee on an actuarial equivalence conversion exercise in relation to a third scheme in the Gates group – the Gates Scheme. Both transactions completed in December 2022.

Hoogan Lovells has also worked closely with Mercer – the buy-out consultant on the transaction and actuary to the Tomkins Schemes – and Buck, the Tomkins Schemes’ administrator.

The Gates Scheme had a defined contribution (DC) section but with a contracted-out guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) underpin. Operating this underpin created complexity for both the Gates Scheme and members.

“We accordingly designed and advised the trustee on implementing an actuarial equivalence conversion process whereby – following consultation with members – the underpin benefits were converted into either a pure GMP, or a pure GMP with additional DC benefits. This involved working closely with Buck Consultants, as the Gates Scheme actuary and administrator,” Hoogan Lovells said.

Christopher Clayton, the chair of the trustee, said: “The trustees have over many years been working towards ensuring that the Tomkins Schemes are fully funded and can be secured with an insurance company, to further guarantee the pension payments to members. I would like to thank our professional advisers at Hogan Lovells, Mercer and Buck for their hard work and professionalism to obtain this buy-in arrangement with PIC.”