Clara-Pensions, the first DB superfund has achieved a significant milestone by taking on its first scheme – the £600 million Sears Retail Pension Scheme.
This landmark move marks the first-ever transfer of an old-style DB pension scheme into these a new “superfund,” – signalling a new era in pension management.
With this ‘landmark’ transfer, Clara-Pensions now assumes responsibility for ensuring more than 9,500 former employees of Miss Selfridge, Warehouse, and Wallis shops receive the pensions they have been promised. The transition has garnered the full regulatory approval of The Pension Regulator (TPR), underscoring its compliance with stringent industry standards.
In his recent Mansion House speech, the Chancellor expressed strong support for DB superfunds, recognising their potential to drive consolidation and scale within the pensions market. Such developments are expected to facilitate increased investment in productive finance, helping boost investment in the UK’s economy.
Simon True, the chief executive of Clara-Pensions, emphasised the positive impact of this transaction on members, hailing it as a “landmark day” for the workplace pensions industry. He underscored the value Clara-Pensions brings by stating, “Insurance remains the gold standard for any pension scheme member, but not all schemes can afford to reach that goal. Clara was created to provide a safe bridge that brings the insurance market into reach for more schemes.”
True adds that Clara-Pensions is actively engaged in discussions with several other DB schemes with assets of around £4 billion, reaffirming the organisation’s commitment to transforming the pension landscape.
Founded in 2017, Clara-Pensions received preliminary approval from TPR to undertake such transactions in 2021. Backed by a prominent US investment firm, Clara-Pensions now stands as the sole superfund with regulatory approval and the necessary capital to facilitate similar deals, after another competitor Pension Superfund, was mothballed this year.