Agfa UK Group Pension Plan completes £230m buy-in with Phoenix Group

The Agfa UK Group Pension Plan has completed a £230m bulk purchase annuity transaction with Phoenix Group, covering 70 per cent of the scheme’s pensioner liabilities.

Hymans Robertson acted as the lead advisers to the trustee throughout the transaction, which was the first bulk annuity undertaken by the scheme.

As part of the trustee’s long-term de-risking strategy, the company had provided additional funding support that facilitated the pensioner buy-in, increasing the long-term security of all members’ benefits.

Commenting on the news, Agfa UK Group Pension Plan chair of the trustee, Tom Clark, said: “I am delighted that we have been supported by Agfa, and our advisers Hymans, to enable to us to reach a buy-in agreement with our chosen provider Phoenix Life. The partnership with Phoenix allows us to take the next step in our de-risking strategy.”

Hymans Robertson partner and head of risk transfer solutions, James Mullins, added: “It’s been a pleasure to advise the Agfa Trustee on their endgame strategy over the last five years.

“This period has seen an excellent improvement in the plan’s funding level, which led to this excellent buy-in transaction with Phoenix.

“The plan is now in a solid financial position and we look forward to helping the trustee to complete their endgame journey.”

Phoenix Group also noted that the transaction is in line with it's own ambition to become a market leading bulk purchase annuity franchise, with the group expected to take a continued focus on "value not volume".

Phoenix Group senior bulk purchase annuities business development manager, Rhian Littlewood, commented: “We are delighted to have worked with the trustee to help them achieve their goal of de-risking their pension scheme.

“Supporting clients is at the heart of our approach, and we knew that completing the transaction quickly was a key priority for the trustee and Agfa. Our agile and pragmatic response ensured that we were able to deliver a transaction within days.

“Our bulk purchase annuity business is underpinned by our sustainability agenda and is aligned to our commitment to use our investments to help build back better and greener and to have a positive impact on society and the real economy.

“The growth of our bulk purchase annuity business allows us to continue to invest into vital UK infrastructure and social projects.”

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