Standard Group UK Pension Scheme shares surplus assets following £26m buyout

The Standard Group UK Pension Scheme has completed a £26m buyout with Just Group, with surplus assets distributed to the sponsor and membership following the deal.

First Actuarial led as project manager on the buyout, which secured retirement benefits for the 107 members of the scheme, while legal advice was provided by Osborne Clark.

Sole trustee, Zedra, confirmed that, as the scheme was fully funded and had surplus assets once the member benefits were secured, it was also able to distribute part of the surplus to enhance member benefits, returning the rest to the sponsor.

First Actuarial worked with Zedra and Osborne Clarke to decide on the practicalities of distributing that surplus in line with the buyout processes of Just Group.

Commenting on the deal, Zedra client director, Clare James, said: “We worked at pace to complete the buyout and wind-up of the scheme within an exceptionally short timeframe.

“Our advisers, First Actuarial and Osborne Clarke, worked closely and proactively with us at every stage. They came up with solutions to every challenge that arose.

“And they were also able to anticipate future issues in advance, which gave us time to consider the best way forward without delaying the project.

“Their responsiveness meant that Zedra was able to drive the decision-making in a timely manner.”

Just Group transition relationship manager, Michael Herd, added: “Working closely with the sole trustee, Zedra, and other advisers First Actuarial and Osborne Clarke, we were able to complete the buyout phase efficiently and quickly.

“The transaction demonstrates that there is a vibrant bulk annuity market for schemes of all sizes.”

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