Musicians’ Union pension scheme completes £13m buyout with Aviva

The Musicians’ Union Permanent Officials and Staff Pension Fund has completed a £13m full scheme buyout with Aviva, securing the defined benefit (DB) liabilities for all members of the scheme.

The scheme trustees were advised throughout the process by Barnett Waddingham and Jagger & Associates, while both Walkers Solicitors and CMS Cameron McKenna provided legal advice.

The Musicians’ Union general secretary, Naomi Pohl, said that the transaction was “a very important step to secure the longer-term future of the union”, explaining that the buyout will largely remove the risks associated with the fund and controlling its expenditure.

“The union is pleased to have supported the fund in reaching this milestone step of securing member benefits with Aviva,” she said.

Musicians’ Union Permanent Officials and Staff Pension Fund chair of trustees, Keith Ames, also highlighted the deal as a “critical step” in the fund’s journey, stating that the trustee was “delighted” to have been able to secure members’ benefits.

“Despite our relatively small size as a pension scheme, Aviva worked well with our advisory team to achieve the transaction,” he continued.

“We were very impressed with the expert knowledge of our advisory team and how well they all worked together to give the support to the trustees so that we could make the ‘big decisions’ and navigate the challenges we faced.”

Barnett Waddingham principal, Jonathan Smart, also emphasised the importance of the collaborative nature between the union and the trustees, particularly as the scheme moved to, and through, the bulk annuity purchase.

“Our transaction team were able to capitalise on a market opportunity and support the annuity purchase in line with the trustees’ wishes – demonstrating our strong relationship with Aviva,” he added.

Adding to this, Aviva head of bulk purchase annuity origination, Jamie Cole, said: “We are delighted to have completed a full buy-out for the Musicians’ Union Permanent Officials and Staff Pension Fund.

"We worked closely with all parties to ensure a smooth and efficient completion. A transaction of this value demonstrates our appetite for schemes of all sizes.”

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