Cheese in a pension fund

One of the biggest dairy companies in the United Kingdom is transferring 20 million kilograms, more than 44 million pounds of cheese into its pension fund. Like many companies, Dairy Crest has more people in its pension program than it was designed to handle and ended up transferring 90 percent of its equity into the fund in 2010 to cover the deficit. The company has about 150 million Pounds-Sterling ($230 million) of cheese in the aging process at any given time so they just transfer some to the pension fund as collateral. Once it is aged, the company will in effect buy it back and put new cheese in.

The Financial Times says Dairy Crest got the idea from Diageo, the maker of Johnny Walker Scotch which put 500 million Pounds ($765 million) worth of whiskey into its pension fund in 2010. The company lets the whiskey age for three years. Each year they will pull the mature whiskey out and replace it with recently-distilled product and pay the pension fund 25 million Pounds.

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