R&SA plans pensions fusion

UK - Major British insurer Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) plans to place its three UK pension schemes under one umbrella provision, IPE has learnt.

The insurer, which was created with the 1996 merger of Royal Insurance and Sun Alliance, has total pension assets under management of almost £6bn (€8.7bn).

These assets are divided between the £2.9bn SunAlliance (SAL) fund, the £1.8bn Royal Insurance Group Pension Scheme (RIGPS) and the £90m Bradford Pennine scheme, the legacy of an old SunAlliance acquisition.

Speaking at a governance seminar in Reading yesterday, UK pension scheme manager at R&SA, Jacqui Barker said: "We have a number of pensions arrangements. On the DB side we have three separate trustee boards with around 26 trustees, on the DC side we have two trustee boards."

She added: "This is quite a variety in terms of stakeholders, pension provision and complexities."

The three defined benefit (DB) schemes closed 2002, with R&SA's introduction of a defined contribution (DC) arrangement, which subsequently was closed at the end of 2005.

"Since January 2006 we have a new pension provision, new recruits, which comes from the stakeholders provided by the Prudential," said Barker.

She added: "We took the opportunity at the same time to move our DB schemes from final salary to career average."

Barker told IPE that R&SA was now in the early stages of discussing how to bring the funds together, adding that there was no particular timeframe for the process.

She added that the SAL fund had just undergone a major adviser review, and has started a tender procedure to replace its investment adviser.

The insurer plans to conduct a similar review for the other two schemes, Barker said.

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