We have advised BA Pensions on the employment aspects relating to the successful transfer of the investment management of its pension scheme assets, worth over £21 billion, to BlackRock.
This major project was innovative because of its size and scale. From an employment perspective, combining the transfer of BA Pensions professionals, as well as the management of the pension scheme assets to an external investment manager, created a pioneering model for the UK pensions industry. This bespoke model sets a new standard for large pension funds in the UK, reducing costs without compromising investment outcomes or connectivity to the trustees and sponsor.
The handover involves the airline's Airways Pension Scheme (APS) and New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS), two of the UK’s largest corporate defined benefit pension schemes, that manage benefits for more than 85,000 members and beneficiaries.
Commenting on the project, Partner Helen Farr, said: "It was a great opportunity to work so closely with the team at BA Pensions, to support them in the next stage of their journey and to be instrumental in managing the transfer to BlackRock. I was delighted to be part of such an innovative project, and to help the team reach a successful outcome."
Richard Pilsworth, General Counsel, BA Pensions, said: "We are grateful to the team at Taylor Wessing for their diligence and collaboration throughout such a complex undertaking. Dealing with a law firm that understood the complexity of both the people and investment management elements for a transition of this magnitude contributed to the success of this unique project."
The team was led by Employment Partner Helen Farr, with support from Senior Associate Roxane Davey.