British Bankers' Association Pension Scheme completes £95m buy-in

LawDeb Pension Trustees, the sole corporate trustee of The British Bankers’ Association Pension Scheme (BBA), has completed a £95m buy-in with Aviva.

The full scheme buy-in will secure defined benefit (DB) pension liabilities for all 213 scheme members, covering investment, longevity, interest and inflation risks in relation to the scheme.

However, the transaction is still subject to a pricing adjustment following data and benefit rectification.

The process was led by Lane Clark and Peacock (LCP) on behalf of LawDeb Pension Trustees as Sole Corporate Trustee, with legal advice provided by Gowling.

The scheme was also advised throughout by both Barnett Waddingham and Womble Bond Dickinson.

LawDeb emphasised that the deal has substantially reduced the pension risk and improved member security, while Aviva has also highlighted the transaction as demonstrable proof that that smaller schemes can access attractive pricing when they are well prepared and supported by an efficient process, despite recent volatility.

Commenting on the transaction, BBA chief executive, Henrietta Royle, said: “The long-term security of our pension scheme is extremely important, especially during current times of uncertainty.

“This successful transaction with Aviva provides that security and is great news for the organisation and our scheme members. It has been fantastic working with LawDeb and we are thrilled to have developed such a valuable and enduring partnership.

“We are pleased to have been able to deliver such a positive result for our members with a very strong and reputable insurance company.”

Meanwhile, LawDeb Pension Trustees trustee director and sole corporate trustee of the scheme, Sean Burnard, added: “We firmly believe this full buy-in represents excellent value in context of a more secure future for BBA’s pension scheme members.

“When you consider the challenging times we have found ourselves in, unprecedented in fact, we are very pleased to have been able to successfully transact accordingly.

"This is testament to extensive stakeholder management and a real lesson in positive collaboration between all the parties involved.”

He continued: “Even through these volatile conditions, the price lock that we had in place with Aviva did what it was intended to do."

Industry experts have previously stressed that whilst market volatility may have hit pension scheme funding levels, there are "golden" opportunities in the bulk annuity market in terms of pricing, with Aon recently highlighting that best pricing captured is still among some of the most attractive in years.

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