MGM Assurance staff pension plan has completed a £80 million buy-in for around 700 of the scheme’s members.
The bulk purchase annuity (BPA) deal, carried out with Phoenix Group’s subsidiary Standard Life, was finalised in March to secure benefits for the former insurance company’s employees.
XPS Pensions Group acted as the principal advisers to the Trustee, while Hogan Lovells International provided legal counsel.
Neil Walker, chair of trustees, said: “We were delighted to secure strong insurer engagement as a result of the preparatory work we undertook with our advisers. We are really pleased to have entered into a buy-in policy with Standard Life, who will provide the members of the plan with strong security in their retirement. XPS navigated us through the whole process brilliantly, and we are pleased with the deal they negotiated for the plan.”
Rhian Littlewood, senior business development manager at Standard Life, explained that trustees had done much of the necessary preparation before approaching them for support.
She said: “This made navigating the process of securing members’ benefits easier, faster, and more cost effective, and ensured we could secure the best outcome for the plan.
“While a number of schemes are enjoying improved funding levels when compared to last year, planning and thorough preparation is key in an increasingly busy marketplace. We encourage schemes to work closely with their advisers in preparation of approaching the market.”
Ash Williams, partner at XPS Pensions Group and lead broker, shared his satisfaction with the outcome of the buy-in project, highlighting the importance of proper preparation.
He said: “XPS is finding that schemes of all sizes can get excellent traction with the insurance market by being well prepared, flexible in their approach and pragmatic, focusing on the features of the deal that really matter to clients.”