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Pension Risk Transfer

Littlewoods Pensions Scheme insures £880 million of liabilities

Littlewoods Pensions Scheme, Liverpool, England, insured 880 million ($1.2 billion) of liabilities in a buy-in transaction with Scottish Widows, said a spokesman at Lane Clark & Peacock, which advised the pension fund.

The deal with the insurer covers more than half of the liabilities of the 1.6 billion pension fund.

"We are delighted to have locked in attractive market pricing for the benefit of the participants and the employer," said Derek Harding, finance director at Shop Direct, the sponsor of the pension fund, in a news release. "The trustee have managed the investment strategy very successfully, and the fund remains in a healthy surplus on a prudent self-sufficiency basis, making it one of the best funded defined benefit funds in the country."

The pension plan's funding ratio before the buy-in was 116%.

Colin Thwaite, chairman of the trustees for the pension fund added in the news release: "The attractive pricing of the transaction has closed the gap to being fully funded and further reduces the risk profile of our investments to meet participants' pensions."

ARC Pensions Law provided legal advice to the trustees.