Just Group completes £158m buy-in with Pfizer pension scheme

Just Group has confirmed the completion of a £158m buy-in with the trustees of the Wyeth Group Pension and Life Assurance Scheme.

The buy-in transaction for 1,200 pensioners is being supported by Pfizer and “represents a key step” in the trustees’ “long-term aim” to de-risk the scheme’s liabilities.

The trustees involved in the process “undertook a rigorous selection process” to try and ensure that they were prepared for an “informed decision for this significant investment”.

Commenting on the buy-in, Just Group head of DB business development, Rob Mechem said: “This is a well-funded scheme with a trustee board that was fully engaged in the details of every aspect of the process and was very well-prepared in terms of data cleansing and benefit specification.

“To ensure they had found the right home for the members’ benefits, the trustees were very thorough and even undertook a site visit to review our administration capabilities.”

Wyeth Group Pension and Life Assurance Scheme trustee, Debbie Berney, added: “We welcome this transaction as a big step forward in ensuring the scheme is able to meet the full costs of its future pension payments to all members and look forward to examining other de-risking opportunities in the future.”

Just Group also released its 2018 business update, which revealed that its retirement income sales for FY18 were 15 per cent higher than for FY17, up to £2.2bn, primarily driven by the “continued growth” in DB de-risking sales.

DB de-risking sales increased by 32 per cent to £1.3bn and lifetime mortgages increased by 18 per cent to £602m during the same period, while guaranteed income for life sales fell by 4 per cent to £786m.

Just Group group chief executive, Rodney Cook, added: "I am pleased to report on an excellent year for Just Group. Despite the challenges we faced we have achieved another year of double digit sales growth and helped more customers than ever.

“We remain focused on our disciplined pricing strategy and on achieving attractive returns on capital from new business and we have been increasingly selective in all our three main markets during the second half of the year in order to maximise returns.”

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