Corby, Hiram Walker entering $176M group annuity buy-in

Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd. and Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. are de-risking with a $176-million group annuity buy-in amidst volatile markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The deal covers 750 retirees and beneficiaries and there will be no change for plan members, who will continue to be paid from the plan as before the transaction. The deal was completed with Sun Life Financial Inc. and Eckler Ltd. in May and is the largest Canadian de-risking transaction in the first half of 2020, according to a press release.

Read: What do historically low interest rates mean for DB pension de-risking?

“Our people, both current and retired, remain a top priority for us and this deal helps provide financial security for our retirees and beneficiaries,” said Melissa James, vice-president of total rewards and organizational effectiveness for Corby and Hiram Walker’s parent company, Pernod Ricard North America, in the release. “During a time that has provided so much uncertainty, we’re pleased that Sun Life and Eckler were able to provide us with some level of certainty and stability for our retirees.”

In the release, Brent Simmons, head of defined benefit solutions at Sun Life, said, “A deal of this size and scale during a global pandemic demonstrates our competitive approach and ability to provide long-term protection for retirees. Despite a volatile market, we planned strategically and, working alongside Eckler, were able to produce a great outcome for Corby and Hiram Walker.”

Read: What options are available for de-risking DB pension plans?