Linklaters advises M&S Pension Trustee on Bulk Annuity Insurance Policies

Linklaters has acted for the Trustee of the Marks and Spencer Pension Scheme on entering into two bulk annuity insurance policies totalling £1.4bn. These policies cover the Scheme’s longevity risk for around one third of its pensioner liabilities. Total liabilities of the Scheme amount to approximately £10bn.

Both insurance policies were structured as umbrella contracts which means that the Trustee will be able to enter into future transactions with the two insurers on the same terms in the future, taking account of market conditions at the time.

The Linklaters team was led by Philip Goss and Victoria Sander and supported by Sarah Parkin and Lorna Tennent

Advising the Marks and Spencer Pension Trustee on this transaction builds on Linklaters’ market leading experience in developing umbrella contracts for these types of policies. The main advantage of these types of contract is that they save time and cost in the longer term and provide a clear and transparent path for future transactions. Recent similar transactions that Linklaters has advised on include:

  • acting for the Vickers Pension Trustees on a £1.1 billion pension scheme buyout with Legal & General Assurance Society;
  • acting for Pearson Pension Trustee Limited on the £1.2 billion umbrella buy-ins with Legal & General and Aviva, insuring around two thirds of the pensioner liabilities in the Pearson Pension Plan; and
  • advising the trustee of the MMC UK Pension Fund, hedging £3.4 billion worth of liabilities for around 7,500 pensioner members. The deal is reinsured with two reinsurers.