The Guilbert UK Retirement Benefits Plan has completed a £140m (€163m) bulk purchase annuity (BPA) deal with Aviva.

The transaction was completed in August and has insured the liabilities for around 1,500 scheme members, removing the investment and longevity risk from the scheme, which is sponsored by the Office Depot UK Pension Sponsor.

Aviva said that members will see no change in the benefits they receive as a result of the transaction.

The tender process for the transaction was led by PwC providing transaction advice to both the trustee and the sponsoring company, with Travers Smith giving legal advice and Mercer, as scheme actuary, in charge of administration and investment advice to the trustee.

Mike Roberts, director at PAN Trustees and chair of the trustee of the Guilbert fund, said: “We are delighted to have completed this bulk annuity transaction with Aviva, which will provide greater security and certainty for members’ benefits in the plan.”

Roberts added that with a lot of moving pieces and the constantly evolving landscape of the BPA market, PwC led the process with “excellent support” from Travers Smith and Mercer to carefully navigate a number of factors to reach “this great outcome” for both the trustee and the company.

Emma Thomas, BPA deal manager at Aviva, said: “We’re delighted the trustee selected Aviva to secure member benefits and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure a smooth transition.”

She said the transaction was “tightly managed” and a close collaboration between teams, plus careful preparation helped deliver a smooth and efficient process, which she said was “an increasingly important consideration for all parties in this busy market”.

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