Defending pensions

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Pension funds' hunt for assets that better match their long-term liabilities has taken a new turn in the UK. Property is becoming the asset class of choice, and several innovative transactions have closed in the past few months. In January, British Airways' pension fund entered into a £445 million sale and lease-back deal with UK supermarket group Tesco. The transaction will generate 20 years of index-linked rental cashflows for the pension fund, with an option to terminate the deal after 10