Pfizer pension scheme completes £190m buy-in with Aviva

The Wyeth Group Pension and Life Assurance Scheme (1997) has completed a £190m buy-in transaction with Aviva.

The scheme’s sponsoring employer, John Wyeth & Brother Ltd, is part of the Pfizer Group.

Following the completion of the deal, 2,000 of the scheme’s members’ defined benefit (DB) pension liabilities will be covered by Aviva.

The deal made use of Aviva’s DB and Contribution Plan, which will ultimately secure benefits for those members with both DB and defined contribution (DC) arrangements following a period after the initial buy-in transaction.  

Mercer led the process of selecting the insurer and negotiating terms on behalf of the trustees, while Allen & Overy LLP provided legal advice.

The scheme had previously completed a £158m buy-in with Just Group, covering 1,200 members.

Commenting on the deal, Wyeth Group Pension and Life Assurance Scheme chair of trustees, Debbie Berney, said: “We welcome this transaction as our second phase in ensuring the scheme is able to meet the full costs of its future pension payments to all members. 

“This has only been achieved by considerable dedication from the trustees working in partnership with their advisers Mercer, Allen & Overy and FTI Consulting, to achieve this attractive transaction with Aviva, as part of the de-risking plan for the scheme.”

Aviva has also released its Q1 2021 Trading Update, which revealed that it has completed £1.6bn worth of bulk annuity deals in 2021 to date.

Aviva group chief executive officer, Amanda Blanc, commented: “Demand for bulk purchase annuities was subdued in the first quarter but we have seen a good start to the second quarter.

“Our positive trading performance in the first quarter of 2021 reinforces our confidence in the targets we announced earlier in the year. Nevertheless, we remain sharply focused on further improving performance, recognising we still have much more to do, to deliver stronger returns for our shareholders."

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