Insurer Aviva has completed a £140m ($177m) bulk purchase annuity full scheme buy-in transaction with the Trustee of the Guilbert UK Retirement Benefits Plan.
The plan is sponsored by Office Depot UK Pension Sponsor and Aviva has insured the plan liabilities for around 1,500 members. These members will see no change in the benefits they receive as a result of the transaction.
In addition, the process was led by PwC providing transaction advice to both the trustee and the sponsoring company.
Emma Thomas, BPA deal manager at Aviva, said: “We’re delighted the Trustee selected Aviva to secure member benefits and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure a smooth transition. The transaction was tightly managed and a close collaboration between teams, plus careful preparation helped deliver a smooth and efficient process – an increasingly important consideration for all parties in this busy market.”
Mike Roberts, director at PAN Trustees and chair of the trustee of the Guilbert UK Retirement Benefits Plan, added: “We are delighted to have completed this bulk annuity transaction with Aviva, which will provide greater security and certainty for members’ benefits in the Plan. With a lot of moving pieces and the constantly evolving landscape of the BPA market, PwC led the process with excellent support from Travers Smith and Mercer to carefully navigate a number of factors to reach this great outcome for both the Trustee and the Company.”
Jani Singh, risk transfer deal lead at PwC, stated: “As lead advisor to both Company and Trustee, in a market that is busier than ever, we are pleased to have worked to design and transact a deal that met the objectives of both the Trustee and Company. This included paying particular attention to the preparation stage, allowing us to conduct a multiple insurer process. The transaction is the culmination of collaboration by all parties, and we are delighted to reach a successful outcome for the Scheme and its members.”
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In 2023, Aviva completed a £30m ($36.4m) buy-out of the British Red Cross Pension Fund and the Scottish Branch British Red Cross Society Retirement Benefits Scheme.