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Western United Group Pension Scheme completes £500m buy-out

21 August 2014

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Trustees of the Western United Group Pension Scheme have completed a £500m buy-out with Rothesay Life.

The buy-out was concluded with a £280m bulk annuity, and is the final one of three bulk annuity deals between Rothesay Life and the scheme, where the insurer had previously secured over £220m of the scheme's liabilities.

The Western United Group Pension Scheme is the defined benefit (DB) scheme for current and former employees and employers belonging to the Vestey Group.

As a result of the transaction, the liabilities for the employees of the Vestey Group are now fully secured and the scheme is expected to start winding up.

Scheme trustee chairman Peter Thompson of BESTrustees said: "Earlier in the year the trustees were not expecting a full buy-out to be achievable for some time.

"So we were very pleased that Rothesay Life, in conjunction with our pensions team, were able to move very quickly to deliver a comprehensive solution and provide security for our members well ahead of schedule."

Vestey Group head of reward Ben Fowler said: "This is a very positive outcome both for scheme members and for the Vestey Group. Less than two years ago we could not have envisaged securing a full buy-out over this timeframe. It requires a great deal of preparation and collaborative effort to complete these deals."

Rothesay Life said that is has now completed six out of the ten largest pension buy-outs.

Rothesay Life's managing director Tom Pearce said: "It is always satisfying when clients return for repeat business and we are pleased to have been able to support Vestey in achieving its objective of a full buy-out of its defined benefit pension scheme in three transactions in under two years. In 2014, we continue to see growing demand for full buyouts from corporates."

First published 21.08.2014

monique_simpson@wilmington.co.uk