RNS Number : 1549V

WH Smith PLC

08 August 2022

WH Smith PLC

8 August 2022

WHSmith Pension Trust completes Buy-In of Defined Benefit Pension Scheme through purchase of bulk annuity insurance policy

The Board of WH Smith PLC ("WH Smith") today announces that the Trustee of the WH Smith Pension Trust (the "Trust") has purchased a bulk annuity insurance policy from Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, insuring all liabilities to pay all future defined benefit pensions to the Trust's 12,950 members and any eligible dependants. Phoenix Group is the UK's largest long-term savings and retirement business with c.GBP310 billion of assets under administration and c.13 million customers.

The insurance policy was purchased using most of the existing assets held within the Trust, without the need for WH Smith to make any additional contributions.

The purchase of this insurance policy follows a long period during which the Trustee, with the support of WH Smith, has reduced investment, interest rate and inflation risks in the Trust, and the funding level has improved. The bulk annuity policy matches the Trust's cash flow benefit obligations to its members, removing longevity and other demographic risks as well as investment, interest rate and inflation risks.

As a result of this comprehensive risk-removal, WH Smith will not be required to make any future contributions into the Trust regarding defined benefit liabilities.

There will be an immediate small benefit to the cashflow of the Group and there will be a small reduction in the Group's liabilities.

All members of the Trust have been informed of this transaction. The amount of benefits they are due to receive in the future are unaffected by it.

WH Smith will issue its normal pre-close trading statement in respect of the financial year ending 31 August 2022, on 7 September 2022.


WH Smith PLC

Mark Boyle Investor Relations 07879 897687

Nicola Hillman Media Relations 01793 563354


Tim Danaher 0207 404 5959

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 08, 2022 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT)

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