Agfa UK Group Pension Plan has derisked £230m (€270m) of pensioner liabilities via a buy-in provided by Phoenix Group.

Said to be the plan’s first such transaction, the bulk annuity covers 70% of its pensioner liabilities and was facilitated by additional funding provided by the company.

James Mullins, partner and head of risk transfer solutions at Hymans Robertson, said the pension plan’s funding level had made “excellent improvement” over the last five years, which led to the transaction.

“The plan is now in a solid financial position and we look forward to helping the trustee to complete their endgame journey,” he added.

Hymans Robertson was the lead adviser to the trustee on the transaction.

Tom Clark, chair of the trustee, said: “I am delighted that we have been supported by Agfa, and our advisers Hymans, to enable to us to reach a buy-in agreement with our chosen provider Phoenix Life.

“The partnership with Phoenix allows us to take the next step in our de-risking strategy.”

Rhian Littlewood, senior bulk purchase annuities business development manager at Phoenix Group, said completing the transaction quickly was a key priority for the trustee and Agfa.

“Our agile and pragmatic response ensured that we were able to deliver a transaction within days,” he said.

In other news, Phoenix has reached an agreement to sell Ark Life Assurance Company to Irish Life Group Limited for €230m, subject to customary regulatory approval.

Ark Life – which Phoenix acquired in 2020 as part of its acquisition of Swiss Re’s ReAssure Group plc – is a closed book of business which manages heritage savings and protection products in Ireland.

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