Standard Life has completed a £1.8bn bulk purchase annuity transaction covering around 6,600 pensioner members of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund, which is sponsored by Imperial Brands.
The transaction is part of Standard Life’s ongoing development and expansion of its BPA offering, which has seen it quote on 90 per cent of deals in the market by volume by 2021. In October 2021, the Phoenix Bulk Purchase Annuity business was rebranded as Standard Life in recognition of Standard Life’s pensions and savings heritage and market expertise.
Hymans Robertson served as the Trustee’s lead advisers on this transaction, the Fund’s first bulk annuity arrangement. Willis Towers Watson and Isio provided funding and investment advice to the Trustee, respectively. Osborne Clarke and CMS provided transaction legal advice to the Fund, while Eversheds Sutherland advised Standard Life.
Standard life managing director of defined benefit solutions Justin Grainger says: “This transaction demonstrates the expertise within the Standard Life team and our continued commitment to the BPA market. We are looking forward to working with the Trustee of the Fund, having been selected as their partner in this transaction. This transaction helps the Trustee by protecting the members of the Fund and reducing the risks associated with holding pension scheme liabilities.
“We are committed to working with potential clients and their advisers to tailor the defined benefit solutions we offer, to work for all parties. The growth of our BPA business continues to fuel our investment into UK infrastructure and socially responsible projects that provide good returns as well as delivering for the communities that we serve.”
Chair of the trustee of the fund Helen Clatworthy says: “We are delighted to have completed this bulk annuity transaction with Standard Life. This buy-in is a major step in the Fund’s de-risking strategy and significantly improves the security of members’ benefits. Hymans Robertson’s expertise was instrumental in delivering this excellent result for the Fund, and we valued Standard Life’s willingness to work in partnership with us in meeting our objectives.”
Hymans Robertson partner Michael Abramson says: “Hymans Robertson are proud to have advised the trustee on a highly bespoke buy-in transaction. Through close collaboration between all parties and Standard Life’s willingness to innovate with us, a fantastic outcome has been achieved for the Fund.”