Standard Life in £150m buy-in at Sappi UK pension

Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, announced it has concluded a £150 million Bulk Purchase Annuity (BPA) transaction covering 1,300 members of the Sappi UK Pension Scheme.

“As a full scheme buy-in, the transaction has enabled the trustee and company to significantly reduce the risks associated with its pension scheme liabilities by securing full benefits for the scheme’s members,” said Standard Life.

PwC acted as the lead advisers for the transaction, with legal advice provided by Squire Patton Boggs, and administration and project support from Deloitte.

Kieran Mistry, Senior Business Development Manager at Standard Life, said: “We are delighted to have been able to help the trustee secure full benefits for the Scheme’s members.

“This is another important transaction for Standard Life, reflecting both our growth and commitment to the BPA market.

“We pride ourselves on being able to tailor our proposition to meet the needs of our clients. We were pleased to be able to work with the trustee and its advisers to develop and offer a solution which met the specific objectives of the trustee.”

Mike Roberts of PAN Trustees UK LLP, acting as trustee of the scheme, said: “It is a great result to be able to secure member benefits with Standard Life which marks an important milestone in the Scheme’s journey plan.

“I’d like to thank the company for their continued support throughout this journey which, along with the execution of the buy-in, has been expertly managed by PwC with great support from Squires and Deloitte.”  

Jani Singh of PwC, lead transaction adviser, added: “To be able to execute the full scheme buy-in transaction in the current uncertain market conditions is a positive outcome.

“Being an independent risk transfer adviser, we were able to bring the trustee and company together with a shared set of objectives which provided the clarity to allow all parties to commit to the transaction.

“To achieve this we took a solutions focused approach, which included efficiently disposing the scheme’s illiquid assets.

“As schemes reach their end game destination quicker than they anticipate, we expect features such as illiquid assets and capturing market volatility to become more common.”