Bristol-Myers Squibb will transfer $3.8 billion of U.S. pension obligations through a full termination of its U.S. Retirement Income Plan. BMS said it will distribute the obligations through a combination of lump sums to Plan participants who elect such payments, and the purchase of a group annuity contract from Athene Holding’s subsidiary, Athene Annuity and Life Company, for all remaining liabilities.
This transaction continues the BMS’s pension de-risking strategy and actions, which began with the freezing of its U.S. Plan in 2009. BMS said this transaction reduces its future risk and administrative costs while entrusting the pensions of Plan participants and their beneficiaries to a highly rated financial institution with expertise in the long-term management of retirement benefits.
The company said the Plan includes approximately 4,800 active employees, 1,400 retirees and their beneficiaries receiving benefits, and 18,000 prior Bristol-Myers Squibb employees who have not yet initiated their benefits. Current Plan provisions, benefit payment options and in-pay benefits will remain available for all participants. Plan participants have received information packages with further details.