Greene King completes £50m bulk annuity with Scottish Widows

Greene King’s Spirit Pension Scheme has completed a £50m bulk annuity deal with Scottish Widows.

The scheme, one of two final salary pension provisions, will have “some” of its pensioners covered, with the view to securing more in the future.

The deal is Scottish Widows' 17th bulk annuity arrangement, meaning they have now secured benefits for over 25,000 pension scheme members.

Scottish Widows director of individual and bulk annuities, Emma Watkins, said: "We are proud that the trustees have chosen to insure members' benefits with us as part of their ongoing de-risking plan. The preparatory work they had done with their advisers and the streamlined auction process allowed the transaction to be implemented smoothly."

Greene King recorded a surplus of £13.6m for its two pension schemes as at April 2018, with assets totalling £859.2m and liabilities of £845.6m, a £24.8m improvement since the end of 2017 on an IAS 19 accounting basis.

The group said this was down to contributions throughout the year as well as changes to market-based discount rates.

Spirit Pension Scheme chairman of the trustees, Iain Urquhart , said: "The scheme has progressed well on its journey to providing full and permanent benefit security, and reaching this important landmark as part of the wider plan represents good progress."

Aon and Evershed Sutherland advised on the deal.

Aon risk settlement adviser, Dominic Grimley, said: "Careful positioning using Aon’s Compass platform was a key element in obtaining strong pricing in a busy market and an efficient transaction. The trustees and company reacted quickly to capture a market opportunity, and the Scottish Widows team showed great commitment.”

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