Life Market: Phoenix Covers £460m Worth of M&S Pension Annuities

Phoenix Group, Europe’s largest life and pensions consolidator, announces that it has completed a £460 million bulk purchase annuity with the Trustee of the Marks and Spencer Pension Scheme covering a further portion of its pensioner members.

This buy-in covers approximately 5,000 current pensioners and, alongside the transaction completed by the Scheme in 2018, increases insurance coverage to around two-thirds of the Scheme’s total pensioner liabilities.  The previous transaction was structured under an “umbrella contract” to facilitate potential future transactions between Phoenix and the Scheme, allowing the parties to move quickly and efficiently to finalise a transaction on similar pre-agreed terms.

Justin Grainger, Phoenix Group’s Head of Bulk Purchase Annuities, said:

“We are delighted to partner with Marks and Spencer again to improve further the security of members’ benefits. This transaction was completed under the umbrella contract established last year as part of our first buy-in with the Scheme, which enabled this follow-up transaction to be completed quickly and smoothly”.

Phoenix believes that the BPA market offers a complementary source of growth which it will pursue alongside its primary strategy of life and pension fund consolidation. It will only proceed with proportionate transactions which meet its stated acquisition criteria and are funded through existing resources.

Justin Grainger continued:

“We look forward to building our relationship further with Marks and Spencer and helping protect the security of their members’ benefits.  This is a growing marketplace and, as this transaction demonstrates, Phoenix is well-placed to offer attractive solutions to other defined benefit pension schemes”.

The Trustee was advised by Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP), the lead adviser for the transaction, and Linklaters on legal matters. 

Graham Oakley, Chair of the Marks and Spencer Pension Trust, said:

“We’re pleased to announce the purchase of an additional buy-in policy with Phoenix Life, which provides an important contribution to the Trustee’s ongoing objective of reducing the longevity risk in the scheme to increase the security of all members’ pensions”.

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