Pensions  

Scottish Widows completes £630m annuity purchase

Scottish Widows completes £630m annuity purchase

Today (14 June) Scottish Widows has announced it has secured a £630m pensioner buy-in with the ICI Pension Fund.

According to Scottish Widows, this is the insurer’s largest external bulk annuity transaction to date.

The buy-in covers more than 4,000 of the fund’s pensioner members and follows several buy-ins completed by the fund since March 2014.

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Additionally, it sees Scottish Widows’ added to the trustee’s insurer panel to be considered for further bulk annuity transactions as it continues its de-risking strategy.

In November 2015, Scottish Widows announced its first external bulk annuity transaction, with the Wiggins Teape Pension Scheme.

Emma Watkins, director of bulk annuities at Scottish Widows, said: “We have worked closely with the trustee and their advisers to develop a bespoke solution over a number of months and this transaction demonstrates Scottish Widows’ ability to provide innovative de-risking solutions to large pension schemes.”

Jeff Sayers, managing director of bulk annuities and investment strategy at Scottish Widows, said: “We have now completed four pensioner buy-in arrangements, ranging from £50m to £630m, with a total of more than £1.25 billion.”

Mike Pendergast, an independent financial adviser with Cheshire-based Zen Financial Services, said: “We don’t have much to do with corporate schemes but Scottish Widows are used a lot by us and have been an excellent provider offering excellent products and solutions.

“Corporate schemes need to de-risk and it it good to see Scottish Widows offering this kind of option to schemes who wish to do this.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com