Life insurer Legal & General announced that it has agreed a £100 million bulk annuity transaction with the Trustee of the Countrywide Farmers Retirement Benefits Scheme, securing the benefits of 360 deferred members and 712 retirees.
The Scheme entered the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment in March 2018 following the insolvency of Countrywide Farmers Plc.
However, the scheme had exited the PPF in November 2019 due to having sufficient assets to fund an equal level of compensation.
Commenting on the announcement is Rachel Cutts, Origination & Execution Director, L&G Retirement Institutional: “We are pleased that we have been able to deliver this transaction which provides greater financial security for the Scheme’s members. We have worked closely with LCP to develop an innovative solution for the Scheme, and we look forward to our continued work together with the Trustee and its advisers.”
She continued: “This transaction builds on Legal & General’s track record of delivering beneficial outcomes for members by enabling pension schemes to exit the PPF, which includes the £2.4 billion transaction with the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan in 2018.”
The transaction will provide a greater flexibility for additional benefits to be secured in the future, which was valuable as the trustee stated that it expects to receive additional recoveries from the ongoing insolvency proceedings.
Hetal Kotecha, Director, Independent Trustee Services also commented on the transaction: “We appointed LCP to provide specialist PPF+ advice to help us optimise outcomes for members of the Countrywide Farmers Scheme. With LCP’s expertise in structuring PPF+ solutions, and competitive pricing and flexibility from L&G, we have secured benefits for members that are far higher than we could have hoped for when we started out on this journey.”
L&G have previously supported pension schemes in securing benefits after exiting the PPF, including a £2.4bn transaction with the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan in 2018.