Northern Bank Pension Scheme secures two buy-ins with Aviva

The Northern Bank Pension Scheme has completed two pensioner buy-ins with Aviva Life & Pensions UK, securing the defined benefit (DB) pension liabilities for a total of 800 members.

The scheme completed the first £227m transaction in September 2021 under an umbrella contract, insuring a further £30m of recently retired pensioner benefits in a second transaction in December 2021.

The scheme trustee was advised throughout the process by LCP, with legal advice provided to the trustee by Sackers and to Aviva by DLA Piper.

Northern Bank Pension Scheme chair of the trustee, Lesley Bourke, highlighted the buy-in policies as “an important further step in the scheme’s journey to reduce investment risk and increase the security of members’ benefits”.

“After a detailed due diligence and selection exercise we chose Aviva as they were best able to meet the trustee’s requirements and we’ve been very pleased with their level of engagement and responsiveness to the trustee’s needs,” Bourke stated.

Adding to this, Aviva head of bulk purchase annuity origination, Jamie Cole, commented: “We’re delighted to have helped the trustee with their long-term de-risking strategy in 2021.

“All the teams have worked collaboratively throughout, creating a bespoke solution which addresses the specific requirements of the scheme, at attractive terms for both Aviva and the trustee.

“The follow on transaction in December was a quick and efficient process, supported by the umbrella contract put in place as part of the first transaction and provides further security for the scheme’s members.”

LCP partner, Ben Adams, also noted that whilst it is unusual to complete two transactions in such quick succession, it demonstrates how umbrella contract structures can “facilitate fast decisions and enable trustees to take advantage of attractive opportunities when they arise”.

“Having completed the first transaction the trustee and bank were keen to lock in terms for a further tranche of benefits, and we’re delighted to have played our part in making that happen,” he said.

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