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  • Simon Bramwell

    Simon Bramwell

    Principal, Head of Longevity Risk Transactions

  • With our support, our client, the trustees of the John Townsend Trust Pension and Assurance scheme (the scheme) announce a £30m buy-in with Legal & General, covering the benefits of over 280 pension scheme members.

    The scheme entered Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment in December 2015, following the insolvency of sponsor, John Townsend Trust, a charity which provided education, training, care, therapy, medical support and residential care for deaf children and young people. The deal, completed at the beginning of November 2021, secures benefits for the scheme members at or above PPF levels of compensation.

    BW has provided actuarial, investment and adminitration services to the scheme for many years. Working with the trustee board, BW provided the scheme with tailored advice on all aspects of the buy-in. The end result is the culmination of many years of work following the insolvency and, ultimately, improved outcomes for the scheme members relative to what they would have received from the PPF.

    Open Trustees has been the trustee of the scheme since the charity’s insolvency. Alongside BW’s transaction advice, legal advice was provided by Gowling LLP.

    "The key to getting transactions like this done is clear: it’s about thorough and comprehensive preparation."
    Simon Bramwell Principal, Barnett Waddingham

    Simon Bramwell, Lead adviser to the Trustees and Principal at Barnett Waddingham, said: “Getting the best possible result for members has been at the forefront of this project and it’s a testament to the efforts of Open Trustees and L&G that we’ve achieved a fantastic outcome for a small buy-in in a very busy marketplace. The key to getting transactions like this done is clear: it’s about thorough and comprehensive preparation. This isn’t necessarily quick or simple to accomplish, but the preparatory work done by the Scheme has been incredibly beneficial in achieving the buy-in efficiently and in a manner that has maximised member outcomes.”

    Jonathan Hazlett, Managing Director of Open Trustees, said: "We are delighted to have entered into this PPF+ buy-in policy with L&G. The insurance market is extremely busy at the current time and it can be very challenging to secure member benefits for smaller schemes. Notwithstanding this, L&G have offered us the opportunity to ensure that Scheme members receive benefits greater than what they would have received from the PPF. It has been a long process getting to this point as we negotiated all of the difficulties associated with the charity's insolvency and, in particular, realising our interest in the School buildings. Whilst the PPF provides a valuable safety net and a significant level of protection, many members will now receive higher benefits than they might otherwise have expected had the Scheme entered the PPF." 

    Adrian Somerfield, Director at Legal & General Retirement Institutional, said: “Being able to help pension schemes whose sponsors have become insolvent is extremely rewarding and we are delighted to have helped the Trustees secure a transaction which provides long-term security to the Scheme’s members. This transaction is a great demonstration of how we can assist pension schemes exit PPF assessment and move to buyout with an insurance company.”

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