The Harrods Group Pension Plan, sponsored by Harrods Holding Limited, has completed a £400m full scheme buy-in with Scottish Widows.
The deal, which was announced today (12 June), covers about 1,900 pensioners and 2,100 deferred members.
Harrods chair of trustee David Fripp said: “The Harrods Plan has enjoyed a stable, well-funded position and a substantially low-risk investment strategy for some years. In completing this insurance transaction, we have consolidated that position and have achieved added protection in relation to longevity risk to further enhance members’ benefit security.
“I would like to thank my fellow Trustee directors for their diligent stewardship and flexibility. Thanks also to Harrods for its unwavering support over many years and to all the Plan’s advisers for helping to execute a timely transaction.”
Harrods managing director Michael Ward said: “As sponsor of the Harrods Group Pension Plan, we are delighted to support the completion of this transaction. Members of the scheme are valued Harrods colleagues both past and present, so working with our Trustee and advisers to secure their benefits, represents many years of hard work and positive collaboration between all parties. I would like to offer my personal thanks to all those involved.”
XPS served as the principal transaction adviser and CMS provided legal counsel to the Trustee. DLA Piper provided advice to Scottish Widows.
XPS head of risk settlement Stephen Purves said: “Despite a really busy bulk annuity market, we were able to generate significant competitive tension with the insurers for this transaction. We are delighted to have helped the Harrods Trustee take this important step in improving the security of its members’ benefits through this buy-in transaction.”
Scottish Widows head of origination and structuring Matt Wilmington added: “We are delighted to have been chosen by the Trustee to be its partner for this transaction. Working closely and constructively with the Trustee and its advisers we were able to insure the benefits of around 1,900 pensioners and 2,100 deferred members of the Plan, providing increased security for the members and reducing financial risk for the sponsor.”