Atkinson Northern pension scheme secures £8m buy-in with L&G

The Atkinson Northern Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme has completed an £8m buy-in with Legal & General (L&G), covering the benefits of 45 pension scheme members.

L&G will also take on the responsibility for payroll of the wholesale building supply distribution firm’s scheme’s members by October 2021.

The deal involved L&G locking in its price entirely to scheme assets in exclusivity, which the insurer said would provide certainty for the trustees on the premium at the end of the exclusivity period and mitigated the risk of pricing diverging from the value of assets.

The trustees were advised on the transaction by XPS Pensions Group, while legal advice was provided to the trustee by Neon Legal.

Commenting on the announcement, Atkinson Northern Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme chair of trustees, Andrew Firbank, of Pan Trustees UK, said: “Getting better security for members and removing risk from the company, has been a vital aim of the trustees and company for many years. 

“Over the past 18 months significant work has been undertaken to get the scheme investments and data into the best possible shape and this has made the transaction affordable and efficient, and we are delighted to have achieved such a good outcome for our members.”

L&G Retirement Institutional origination and execution director, Julian Hobday, added: “We are delighted to have helped the scheme on its de-risking journey and provide security to its members.

“This transaction demonstrates our ability to provide peace of mind to pension schemes of all sizes and we look forward to working closely with the trustees going forward.”

XPS Pensions Group head of risk transfer, Harry Harper, stated that the deal was a “great example” of how it is possible to provide members with clear communications and support in a way that had previously only been viable on the largest of schemes. 

“Members have been given flexibility over their benefits and practical support has been made available, enabling them to have real choice in advance of annuitisation,” he concluded.

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