Co-operative Bank Pension Scheme completes £1.2bn buy-in with Rothesay

The Co-operative Bank Pension Scheme has completed a £1.2bn full scheme buy-in with Rothesay, insuring the liabilities of more than 9,000 members.

The deal covers all uninsured members of The Bank Section of the Co-operative Pension Scheme, consisting of 2,474 pensioners and 6,531 deferred members.

This follows a £400m buy-in of The Bank Section of the Co-operative Pension Scheme in 2020 with PIC.

No contribution from the sponsor was required for the buy-in, which is part of the long-term plan to de-risk the scheme.

Rothesay and the scheme trustee have been working together on the transaction since early 2022.

Aon was the lead broker on the transaction, acting for the trustee, while Linklater provided the trustee with legal advice.

Legal advice was provided to Rothesay by Gowling WLG.

The Co-operative Bank was advised by XPS Pensions Group and Clifford Chance.

The agreement features residual risks, and the premium was locked into the section’s asset portfolio and paid by in specie transfer.

This is Rothesay’s eighth transaction of 2022, and the insurer said it is also exclusive on a further £5bn of new business that is expected to complete by the end of this year and into 2023.

“We are delighted to have taken this significant step in our de-risking plans, further improving member security,” said Co-operative Bank Pension Scheme chair of trustees, Chris Martin.

“Our advisers’ commitment to our cause and Rothesay’s flexibility and market insight meant we were able to navigate the recent volatility and design an innovative solution.”

Rothesay CEO, Tom Pearce, added: “We are very pleased to support The Co-operative Bank with this important step in its journey toward buyout.

“After working with the trustee and their advisers for some time, we have been impressed by their focus on the end goal and determination to provide pension security for all their members.

“Demand for de-risking is the strongest we have ever seen and there are exciting new business opportunities stretching out into 2023.”

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