Signet Group Pension Scheme, the pension fund for employees of Signet Group Limited has agreed to a £236m (€279m) full scheme buy-in with pensions insurance specialist Rothesay.

Signet Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Signet Jewelers Limited, which is one of the world’s largest retailers of diamond jewellery and owns H. Samuel and Ernest Jones in the UK.

As a full scheme buy-in, the transaction secures the defined benefit (DB) liabilities for the entire scheme, including 825 deferred members and 1,084 pensioners in payment, who will become direct policyholders with Rothesay on completion of the deal, it was disclosed.

Mercer was the lead broker on the transaction, while Sackers provided legal advice to the scheme – Gowling WLG was Rothesay’s legal adviser.

Alan Baker, chair of the trustees, said: As a purpose-built insurer, Rothesay is an attractive partner for us to ensure our obligations are met and pension benefits provided in full. This is a great outcome for our members and has resulted from a really positive and successful collaboration between all those involved.”

Tom Seecharan, handling business development at Rothesay, said: “In a busy market our sophisticated risk and pricing systems allow us to transact at speed and offer schemes and sponsors the certainty they need to protect their members’ pensions.”

Brent Group completes £3m buy-in with Just Group

The DB scheme of Brent Group, a UK family-owned business that includes the digital marketing and brand agency Brand Remedy, has also completed a buy-in deal, but with Just Group.

The £3m deal was for two deferred members and 13 pensioners and completed on 25 March. K3 Advisory advised the scheme on the deal.

“When we started out on our buy-out journey in early 2020, we could not have foreseen the changes that would come our way,” said Richard Silbermann, a director of Brent Group.

He added that the scheme “managed to secure members’ benefits at a significantly lower cost than had been originally estimated”.

Independent trustee Duncan Willsher, of 20-20 Trustees, added: “It is great to see that scheme size is not an inhibiter to securing great outcomes, when teams work together and projects are executed well and efficiently.”

Peter Jennings, business development manager at Just Group, also noted that “small can be beautiful in the DB transfer market”.

“This was an important deal for the trustee and we worked hard, along with their other advisers, to make sure we could secure benefits for their members at a cost that was affordable to the company,” he added.

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