Standard Life in £200m annuity deal with Agfa UK

Phoenix Group-Standard Life office in Lothian Road, Edinburgh

Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, said it has concluded a £200 million Bulk Purchase Annuity (BPA) transaction with the Agfa UK Group Pension Plan, covering the benefits of 770 members.

“This transaction forms the second part of the plan’s de-risking journey, following a £230 million partial buy-in completed in 2021 which covered 70% of the plan’s pensioner liabilities,” said Standard Life.

“Following completion of this transaction, the benefits of the vast majority of members of the plan are now secured with Standard Life.”

Hymans Robertson acted as the lead advisers to the Trustee for this transaction, while legal advice was provided by Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

Rhian Littlewood, Senior Business Development Manager at Standard Life, said: “The completion of this transaction marks an important milestone for the plan.

“We are pleased to have been able to build on the first stage of its de-risking journey undertaken in 2021 by working closely with the Trustee to monitor pricing and affordability.

“Once the opportunity arose, we moved quickly to complete a transaction within two weeks, which was crucial to locking in long-term security for all plan members.

“The premium payment was also structured to accommodate the timescales required to disinvest the assets, while still locking into the price opportunity.”

Tom Clark, The Chair of the Trustee, Agfa UK Group Pension Plan, said: “I am delighted that we have been supported by Agfa, and our advisers Hymans Robertson and Squire Patton Boggs, to enable to us to reach a second buy-in agreement with our chosen provider Standard Life.

“The partnership with Standard Life has allowed us to make extraordinary progress in our de-risking strategy.”

James Mullins, Partner and Head of Risk Transfer Solutions at Hymans Robertson, said: “We first started working with the Plan’s Trustee in 2016.

“At that time the Plan was in a tough position with a low funding level, a high level of investment risk and with a sponsoring employer in a mature market.

“We worked with the Trustee to build a comprehensive strategy to improve the position.

“Just over six years later, I’m delighted to have been able to help the Trustee to get to a position where they have insured their members’ benefits, capturing two excellent buy-in opportunities with Standard Life along the way.”