PensionsNov 23 2015

Just Retirement/Partnership merger delayed

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Just Retirement/Partnership merger delayed

The proposed merger between Just Retirement Group and Partnership Assurance Group to create the JRP Group has been postponed until January 2016, it was announced today (23 November).

The merger was initially expected to complete in late December, but has been delayed owing to Just Retirement’s decision to post its shareholder circular after the PRA Internal Model approval process has concluded.

The decision was made to ensure shareholders are kept up to date with the most up to date information ahead of the voting on the proposed merger.

Just Retirement has confirmed that a decision on its application for solvency is expected at the beginning of December in line with Prudential Regulatory Authority’s timetable for Solvency II Internal Model Applications.

It is now expected to complete in late January on the condition the proposed merger is approved by the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority.

In late October, the Competition and Markets Authority unconditionally cleared the recommended all-share merger of Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance to create JRP Group.

In August this year, the two annuity providers announced their plans to merge to become JRP Group.

At that time, the statement cited the 2014 Budget and the greater freedom for accessing pension savings as one of main the reasons for the merger.

The groups said that the £1.8bn merger is expected to result in Just Retirement shareholders owning approximately 60 per cent of the combined group while Partnership Assurance shareholders will claim the remaining 40 per cent.

These reforms had an immediate impact on the sales of individual annuities, which fell by 42 per cent from £11.9bn in 2013 to £6.9bn in 2014, according to data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

On 29 October the firms received approval for the merger.

Earlier this month, however, it was announced that up to 240 jobs may be cut following the Just Retirement and Partnership merger.

In a statement released by the firms on the merger, the providers said the headcount reduction is expected to be approximately 5 per cent in the initial six months following the merger completion.